A Sketch
of the
Burman Empire.
from a Map of
India extra Ganjem.

Map of Burma, including the Bay of Bengal, the Gulf of Martaban, the Gulf of Siam, the Gulf of Tonkin, and the Chinese Sea.The map’s borders are China to the east, Cambodia and Junkseylon to the south, China and Tibet to the north, and the Ganges and Serampore to the west. Includes latitude and longitude measurements.

Published by Mess.rs Butterworth & Son, 43, Fleet Street, London: for M.rs Judson’s Account of the American Baptist Mission in the Burman Empire


Of The
American Baptist Mission
The Burman Empire

In A Series of Letters Addressed To A
Gentleman in London.

By Ann H. Judson.

Second Edition

Joseph Butterworth and Son,
43, Fleet Street. 1827mdcccxxvii.

A2r A3r


It may not hitherto have been generally known in England,
that in the year 18121812, the Rev. Adoniram Judson engaged
in a Mission to the Burman Empire, under the direction of
the American Board of Baptist Missions; and settled at
Rangoon, on the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal. After
encountering many difficulties and privations, during the
first six years of his residence in that country, he acquired a
thorough knowledge of the language; translated a considerable
part of the —New Testament; and composed Tracts,
which were circulated among the natives of Burmah. Much
inquiry on the subject of religion was thus excited, and several
genuine converts were formed into a Christian Society, conducting
themselves in every respect consistently with their
Christian profession.

Mrs. Judson’s health having suffered greatly from the
effects of the climate, her removal to a colder latitude
became necessary, which occasioned her visit to England on
her way to America, in the summer of 18221822. The particulars
she communicated concerning the inhabitants of the Burman
, and the rise and progress of the Burman Mission,
were in this country new and highly interesting. She was,
therefore, earnestly requested to write a detailed account of
the Mission, which might be printed for general information.
In compliance with this request, on her voyage to America,
she commenced, and during her residence there completed,
the first Fourteen Letters which are contained in the present
volume. The remainder were written after her return to

It appears that female education forms no part of the
Burman system: on the contrary, national prejudice is
strongly opposed to the principle. Slavery is carried on, A3v vi
similar, in many respects, to that which prevailed under the
Mosaic dispensation. When the father of a family is overwhelmed
with debt, he has recourse to the sale of his wife
and children; and if the sum he receives for them be not
sufficient, he offers himself in order to balance the account.
Not unfrequently, under the despotic government of the
Empire, a tax is levied on an individual far beyond his ability
to pay, and he is put to the torture until he has entered into
an engagement to produce the sum required: the sale of
his wife and children takes place for this purpose. Hence
there are multitudes of slaves in the Burman Empire. But
those slaves whose situation is peculiarly calculated to excite
compassion, are children whose parents die involved in debt.
The creditor immediately lays claim to the helpless orphans,
and either retains them for his debt, whatever may be its
amount, or sells them for an equivalent sum. To redeem
a few female orphan slaves of this description, is an object
which Mrs. Judson proposes to herself, in order to commence
with them a system of instruction; hoping that,
should her labours succeed, their conduct in after life may
convince the Burmans of the utility of female education.

The profits from this publication, if any should arise,
will be appropriated to the redemption from slavery and
to the education, of female children in Burmah, under the
immediate superintendance of Mrs. Judson.

Subscriptions, for this object, will also be received
by Messrs. Butterworth and Son, Fleet Street,

To The First Edition

A connected account of the origin, progress, and success,
of the American Baptist Mission to the Burman
, was first suggested by friends in Bengal, who were
desirous of a better acquaintance with particular circumstances,
than could be obtained from any publication extant.

On embarking for Europe, I indulged the hope of being
able to commence a work of this kind, during the passage;
but my ill state of health, together with the scanty materials
then in my possession, induced me to defer it until a more
favourable period.

In England and Scotland, I found a high degree of interest,
relative to the Burman Mission; excited, principally,
by a few articles of intelligence which had found their way
from these shores across the Atlantic, and which continually
prompted the inquiry, “How shall we obtain all the information
which has been transmitted to your American
Frequently was the request reiterated, to make
a compilation of documents, in such a form as to give a
history of events, from the commencement of the mission
to the present time.

From no one was this request more forcibly and constantly
made, than from that esteemed friend to whom these
letters are addressed; who, from my first arrival in England,
until my departure for my native shores, manifested the
affectionate concern of a father, and spared no exertions to
increase my comfort, improve my health, and enhance my
usefulness. He entered warmly into our missionary views,
and endeavored to cherish the flame, already kindled, in his
circle; and his last request, received at the very moment of
my embarkation at Liverpool, had no inconsiderable influence
in prevailing on me to commence the present compilation.

Since my arrival in this country, my health has so far declined
as to prevent my imparting to my beloved friends that A4v viii
oral information which I had so fondly expected and ardently
desired. This circumstance has been an additional inducement
to devote every moment of leisure, and respite from
pain, to the compilation of this work; and it is to me no v
small source of consolation, that, while endeavoring to
obtain my health, in my secluded and retired situation, I
have been able to prepare and present to my Christian
friends, a concise view of the faithfulness and mercy of God,
as exhibited in the formation of a little church, in one of
the largest heathen empires in the world.

While I consider the following letters as a substitute for
verbal communications, I cannot refrain from bespeaking
the candour of my friends in perusing them.

Much additional interesting matter would have been
communicated, more attention to style and elegance of
expression would have been given, and more particularity in
selection and arrangement would have appeared, had my
health allowed. This must be my apology for omissions and
errors of every kind. But, poor as is the garb in which
these letters are attired, a full conviction that the providential
circumstances therein detailed, will have a tendency to excite
grateful emotions in the hearts of many of God’s dear
children, induces me to make an immediate and joyful offer
of this little work.

I gladly embrace the present opportunity to express my
thanks, and sense of obligation, for the continued and innumerable
proofs of Christian affection, which have been
manifested by the Board of Managers of the General Convention;
by female societies; and by many individuals,
in their endeavors to add to my comfort and aid me in
my designs, since my arrival in this country.

That the blessings of thousands, ready to perish, may
descend upon all interested in the missionary cause; and
that every individual who shall peruse these letters may raise
his heart to God, in prayer for the conversion of the heathen,
is the sincere and constant desire of



To The
Burman Empire.

Letter I.

My Dear Sir,

After such continued proofs of your affectionate regard,
and kind concern in my welfare, it would, indeed,
be the height of ingratitude, should I longer delay to
comply with the request, so often made, to write you
a particular and connected account of the origin, progress,
and sucess, of the American Baptist Mission to
the Burman Empire.

My present state of convalescence, together with
freedom from interruptions during my passage to
America, I am happy to say, allow the gratification of
my feelings in complying with your wishes; and,
though an employment of this nature will have a tendency
to refresh my mind with scenes of trial, the
very recital of which is appalling to human nature, it
will, at the same time, recal to my recollection the
tender mercies of our heavenly Father, whose unseen
hand has supported, sustained, and delivered, when no
created arm could succour, and whose loving-kindness B B1v 2
has been richly experienced in the very storms of adversity.
To honour of Divine grace would I record,
that we have never encountered trials greater
than we have been enabled to bear, and a way for
escape from imminent danger and peril has always
been provided.

Previously to a personal relation, a slight sketch of
the Burman Empire, its geographical situation, government,
and some of the principal traits in the character
of its inhabitants, may not be uninteresting.

This empire comprises the former kingdoms of
Arracan, Ava, and Pegue,whose sovereigns were displaced
by the celebrated Alompra, the founder of the
present dynasty, or by his successors. This, and some
adjacent countries, have sometimes been termed Indo-
Chinese nations, as situated between India Proper and
China. The empire of Burmah, in its present state,
is about 1200 miles in length, and 8 or 900 in the
broadest part. It extends from the 9th to the 28th
degree North latitude, and from the 91st to the 108th
East longitude; and contains a population estimated
at about nineteen millions. The northern part of the
country is barren and mountainous; but the plains
and valleys, situated more southerly, are very fertile.
The climate is considered salubrious, and the natives
are remarkably healthy and vigorous. The government
is strictly monarchical. The emperor is an absolute
sovereign, and is regarded as the sole lord and
proprietor of life and property in his dominions; and,
without the concurrence of any, his word is irresistible
law. Four private ministers of state, (called Atwenwoon)
and four public ministers of state, (Woongyee)
are the organs of administration. The latter compose B2r 3
the supreme court of the empire, (Tlowtdau) in the
name of which all imperial edicts are issued.

The Burman empire is divided into districts, each of
which is governed by the viceroy, (Myoowoon) and a
court, (Yongdau). The district courts are composed
of a president, (Yawoon)—chief magistrate, (Ski-kai)
—collectors of the port, (Akoukwoon)—auditors,
(Narkandau)—and secretaries, (Saragyee).

The members of the district courts, and the wives,
relations, and favourites of viceroys, have also the
privilege of holding private courts, and of deciding
petty causes subject to appeal to higher authority.

The Burmans are Boodhists or a nation of atheists.
They believe that existence involves in itself the principles
of misery and destruction: consequently, there
is no eternal God. The whole universe, say they, is
only destruction and re-production. It therefore becomes
a wise man to raise his desires above all things
that exist, and aspire to Nigban, the state in which
there is no existence. Rewards and punishments follow
meritorious and sinful acts, agreeably to the
nature of things. Gaudama, their last Boodh, or
deity, in consequence of meritorious acts, arrived
that state of perfection, which made him deserving of
annihilation,—the supreme good. His instructions are
still in force, and will continue till the appearance of
the next deity, who is supposed now to exist somewhere
in embryo, and who, when he appears, as the
the most perfect of all beings, will introduce a new dispensation.
The Boodhist system of morality is pure,
though it is destitute of power to produce purity of
life in those who profess it.

The Burmans are a lively, industrious, and energetic B2 B2v 4
race of people, and farther advanced in civilization
than most of the Eastern nations. They are frank and
candid, and destitute of that pusillanimity which characterizes
the Hindoos; and of that revengeful malignity
which is a leading trait in the Malay character.
Some of their men are powerful logicians, and take
delight in investigating new subjects. Their books
are numerous; some of them written in the most
flowing, beautiful style: and much ingenuity is manifested
in the construction of their stories.

All the boys in the empire are taught by the priests,
who are dependent for their support on the contributions
of the people; but no attention is given to female
education, excepting in a few instances in the higher
classes of society.

From the above observations, my dear Sir, you may
form some idea of the Burmans; but, on the sanguinary
nature of their government, prudential reasons
urge my silence.

Still hoping for an interest in your prayers,

I remain, my dear Sir,
Very affectionately and respectfully



Letter II.


My Dear Sir,

I now commence a relation of those views and feelings,
which first induced Mr. Judson to engage in

B3r 5

Soon after he had graduated, at one of our American
universities, he commenced making a tour of the
United States. Some providential circumstances, while
on his journey, led him to doubt the truth of those
deistical sentiments which he had recently adopted. His
mind became so deeply impressed with the probability
of the Divine authenticity of the Scriptures, that he
could no longer continue his journey; but returned to
his father’s house, for the express purpose of examining
thoroughly the foundation of the Christian religion.
After continuing his investigations for some
time, he became convinced that the Scriptures were of
Divine origin, and that he himself was in a lost situation
by nature, and needed renovation previous to an
admittance into heaven. It now became his sole enquiry,
“What shall I do to be saved?”

A theological seminary at Andover, Massachusetts,
was about this time established; but the rules of the
institution required evidence of evangelical piety in all
who were admitted. Mr. Judson was desirous of entering
this college, for the purpose of being benefitted
by the theological lectures; but hardly ventured to
make application, conscious that he was destitute of
the proper qualifications. His ardent desire, however,
of becoming acquainted with the religious students,
and of being in a situation to gain religious instruction,
overcame every obstacle, and he applied for admittance;
at the same time assuring the professors of
his having no hope that he had been a subject of regenerating
grace. He was, notwithstanding, admitted;
and, in the course of a few weeks, gained
satisfactory evidence of having obtained an interest in
Christ, and turned his attention to those studies which B3v 6
were most calculated to make him useful in the

Some time in the last year of his residence in this
theological seminary, he met with Dr. Buchanan’s
—Star in the East. This first led his thoughts to an
Eastern mission. The subject harassed his mind from
day to day, and he felt deeply impressed with the importance
of making some attempt to rescue the perishing
millions of the East. He communicated these
impressions to the professors and students, but they
all discouraged him. He then wrote to the Directors
of the London Missionary Society, explained his views,
and requested information on the subject of missions.
He received a most encouraging reply, and an invitation
to visit England, to obtain in person the necessary

Soon after this, Messrs. Nott, Newell, and Hall
joined him, all of them resolving to leave their native
land, and engage on the arduous work of missionaries,
as soon as Providence should open a way. At a meeting
of the Massachusetts Association, Mr. Judson and
his associates presented a paper, which first made
known to the public their missionary designs. This,
together with further representations and conversations,
originated the American Board of Commissioners
for Foreign Missions

Shortly after the formation of this Board, Mr. Judson
was authorised by its members to go on a mission
of inquiry to England, and to ascertain what degree of
assistance could be obtained, in case our own funds
should be inadequate to the undertaking. On his
voyage thither, the ship was taken by a French privateer;
and, as if to try the purity of his missionary B4r 7
zeal, Mr. Judson was put on board, and, after being
detained as a prisoner for several weeks, was safely
conveyed to the dungeon of a French prison in
Bayonne. Through the assistance, however, of an
American gentleman, who saw Mr. J. conveyed through
the streets, he procured his release, and, after a most
difficult struggle to obtain official passports from
Napoleon, (it was in 18111811,) he was allowed to proceed
through the country, and to pass the Channel to
England. In that highly favoured land, he obtained
all the assistance, encouragement, and information he
desired, and returned again to America, after an absence
of nearly a year.

A few months after his return, the Board came to a
resolution of sending the missionaries in the first ship
ready to sail for the East.

Mr. Rice, another student at Andover, whose mind
had long been impressed with the melancholy situation
of the heathen, but who, hithero, had been undetermined,
now offered himself to the Board, and
begged to be allowed the privilege of accompanying
his brethren.

In the winter of 18121812, Mr. and Mrs. Newell, Mr.
and myself, embarked from Salem, on board
the Caravan; at the same time the other three missionaries
sailed from Philadelphia.

We arrived in Calcutta, in May, after a pleasant
passage of four months. But our heavenly Father
saw our unfitness to engage in his service, previously
to our entering disciplinary school. In our native
country we had never known trials, or adversity; and
though we had, I trust, endeavoured to count the cost,
and expected a frequent cloudy sky in our missionary B4v 8
atmosphere, it was our prevailing hope, that our sun
would still shine bright.

And now, my dear Sir, I need make no apology for
detailing circumstances relating to the government of
the Honourable East India Company. You well know
the prejudices which existed, relative to this subject,
before the renewal of the charter in 18131813. We arrived
in Calcutta during the administration of Lord Minto.
A few days after our landing, we received orders to
return immediately to America, in the same ship in
which we came; and our captain was refused a port-
clearance, unless he would enter into an enagagement
to take us back. This was an occurrence we did not
expect, and was aimed at the foundation of our dearest
hopes. Our friends in Calcutta informed us that there
was no method of evading this order, unless we could
obtain permission to go some place not under the
Honourable Company’s government. It was then our
wish to go to the Burman empire; but the existing
difficulties between the English and Burman governments,
rendered the attempt presumptuous. We accordingly
made application for permission to go to the
Isle of France, which was readily granted. One vessel
only was on the point of sailing, and she could accommodate
but two passengers. The situation of my
friend, Mrs. Newell, rendered it necessary that she
should arrive at some home as early as possible. Mr.
and Mrs. Newell, therefore, embraced the opportunity
this ship presented.

We were detained in Calcutta two months longer.
The government noticing our continuance, supposed,
probably, that we intended remaining in Bengal, and
issued a most peremptory order for our being sent B5r 9
immediately on board one of the Honourable Company’s
vessels, bound to England. Mr. Rice had, in
the mean time, joined us. A petty officer accompanied
Messrs. Rice and Judson to their place of residence,
and requested them not to leave it without permission.
We saw our names inserted in the public
papers, as passengers on board a certain ship, and
now there appeared very little hope of our escape.
Mr. Rice and Mr. Judson, however, soon ascertained
that a ship would sail for the Isle of France in two
days. They applied for a pass from the chief magistrate,
but were refused.—They communicated to the
captain of the ship their circumstances, and asked if
he would venture to take them on board without a
pass? He replied that he would be neutral; that
there was his ship, and that they might do as they

With the assistance of the gentleman in whose
house we were residing, we obtained coolies (porters)
to convey our baggage, and, at twelve o’clock at
night, we embarked, though the gates of the dockyards
were closed, and the opening of them, at that
time of the night, was quite contrary to the regulations
of the Company. The next morning the ship
sailed. She had proceeded down the river, for two
days, when a government despatch arrived, forbidding
the pilot to go farther, as passengers were on board
who had been ordered to England. It was one o’clock
in the morning when this prohibition was received.
and as the vessel had, providentially, anchored near
the only English dwelling within several miles, we
immediately went on shore.

The next morning, the captain, though very kind B5 B5v 10
and obliging, informed us, that his duty to his employers
and government, required that our baggage
should be removed; and that we could proceed no
farther. We were successful in procuring boats for
our conveyance, word was returned to the governor
that no such persons were on board, and the ship was
allowed to go on her way.

We knew not what course to take, feeling assured
that, should we return to Calcutta, we should be sent
to England, and, if we continued at the place in which
we then were, we should certainly be discovered. We
therefore went down the river as far as Fultah, about
fifty miles from Calcutta, where we procured lodgings.
Here we partook, in some measure, of the feelings of
those who are every moment expecting a discovery;
and, though we were conscious of having done our
duty, in thus refusing to comply with the orders of
government, we could not help feeling somewhat
alarmed at the arrival of every boat at the Ghaut,
and the appearance of every new face. We had continued
in this situation four days, anxiously applying
to every ship passing down the river, for admittance,
to whatever port bound. We had given up all hope
for escape, and thought we must return again to Calcutta,
when a letter was handed to Mr. Judson, containing
a pass to go on board the ship we had so lately
left. We knew not who procured it, but our hearts
rejoiced, we thanked God, and took courage. The
ship had been gone down the river four days, and
was probably out at sea. It was then dark, and we
were about seventy miles from Saugar, the place where
the ship lay, if not gone to sea. But there was no
alternative. We went on board our boats, the boatmen B6r 11
rowed hard all night and all the next day, at the
close of which we had the inexpressible pleasure of
discovering the ship safely anchored in Saugar roads,
having been detained much longer than expected,
from the circumstances that some of the Lascars had
not arrived.

These providential occurrences, my dear Sir, had
such a tendency to strengthen our trust and confidence
in God, that we now felt assured he had something for
us to do, and that he would, in his own time and way,
mark out our path before us. The precious moments
we enjoyed, in sweet communion with God, more,
far more, than compensated for our unexpected trials.

We seriously thought of making an effort to establish
a mission on the island of Madagascar, thinking
it was, perhaps, the design of Providence in sending
us to the Isle of France, for that purpose. With these
views we immediately commenced studying the French
language, continued it during our passage, and for
some time after our arrival.

The intelligence of the death of our beloved friend,
Mrs. Newell, was a shock we were not prepared to
expect. On our voyage we had constantly anticipated
the pleasure of again meeting our friends and
early associates, Mr. and Mrs. Newell. It had scarcely
entered our thoughts that either of them would be no
more. But we were, by this solemn providence, taught
a lesson we had been backward in learning, that our
dearest plans might be defeated by the call of death!

After our feelings had, in some measure, subsided,
we made enquiries respecting Madagascar, but, finding
it impossible there to establish a mission, our attention
was again turned to the East. Governor Farquhar B6v 12
had received orders from the supreme government in
Bengal, to “have an eye on those American missionaries.”
He, however, very kindly and politely
informed us that we were at liberty to go where we
wished, so far as he was concerned, and we accordingly
embraced the first opportunity which presented
itself for our return to India.

While at the Isle of France it was thought advisable,
both by Mr. Rice and Mr. Judson, that the former
should return to America, and attempt establishing
Foreign missionary societies among the Baptists.

After three months’ residence at the Isle of France,
we embarked for Madras, at which place we arrived in
1813-06June, 1813. Here, again, we were assured of the
hostile disposition of the Honourable Company’s government
towards missionary exertions, as manifested
in a late attempt to send to England our former missionary
associates, the Rev. Messrs. Nott and Hall,
who had proceeded to Bombay. Our excellent friend, Mr. M., was, probably, the instrument
in the hands of God, of their continuance in Bombay.

Mr. Judson’s first object, therefore, was to ascertain
what ships were lying in the Madras roads, and he
found the only one which would sail, previously to information
being given to the Supreme government in
Bengal of our return to India, was bound to Rangoon.
A mission to the Burman empire, desirable as it was,
we had been in the habit of viewing with a kind of
horror, and, though dissuaded from the attempt by
our friends at Madras, we now saw the hand of Providence
pointing to that region, as the scene of our future labours.

B7r 13

As I shall frequently be obliged to have recourse
to letters and documents, long since published in
America, allow me, in this place, to insert a few extracts
from a letter written at this time, as descriptive
of our state of feeling when about to embark.

“My heart often sinks within me, when I think of
living among a people whose tender mercies are cruel.
But, when I reflect upon their miserable state, as destitute
of the Gospel, and that it is easy for our heavenly
Father to protect us in the midst of danger, I feel
willing to go, and live and die among them; and it is
our daily prayer that it may please God to enable us to
continue in that savage country. Farewell to the privileges
and conveniences of civilized life! Farewell to
refined Christian society! We shall enjoy these comforts
no more; but Burmah will be a good place to
grow in grace, to live near God, and be prepared to
die. O, my dear parents and sisters, how little you
know how to estimate your enjoyments, in your quiet
homes, with all the comforts of life! How little you
know how to prize dear Christian society, as you have
never been deprived of it! How little you can realize
the toils and perplexities of traversing the ocean; and
how little you can know of the solid comfort of trusting
in God, when dangers stand threatening to devour!
But these privations, these dangers and toils, and
these comforts, are ours, and we rejoice in them, and
think it an inestimable privilege that our heavenly
Father has given us, in allowing us to suffer for his

I remain, my dear Sir,
Very affectionately and respectfully



B7v 14

Letter III.


My Dear Sir,

Our residence in Madras was very short. When our
dear friends, Among these kind friends, who were solicitous for our
welfare, I would mention the Rev. Mr. M. Thompson, with whom
you are well acquainted, and Mr. Strachan.
at that settlement, saw we were determined
on going to Burmah, they did all in their
power to smooth the way before us, by preparing
those articles which they considered necessary on our
first arrival. Among other things, a valuable European
woman servant was provided. We sent her on board
two days before we went ourselves. On the --06-2222d of
we embarked for Rangoon. The ship was just
getting under way, when the servant, above mentioned,
fell on the floor, apparently in a fit, but all our
endeavours to recover her were ineffectual, for she
never breathed more. It was too late to supply
her place, and we were obliged to proceed without an
attendant. I was immediately taken dangerously ill,
and thought, indeed, that the time of my departure
was at hand, and that all my toils and perplexities were
at an end. But a particular account of our dangerous
voyage, and the gloomy prospects on our first arrival
in Burmah, is given in a letter from Mr. Judson to the

Board of Missions.—“We commended ourselves to
the care of God, and embarked in a crazy old vessel, B8r 15
manned entirely by native sailors, the captain being
the only person on board that could speak our language,
and we had no other apartment than what was
made by canvass. Our passage was very tedious.
Mrs. Judson was taken dangerously ill, and continued
so, until, at one period, I came to experience the awful
sensation, which necessarily resulted from the expectation
of an immediate separation from her, who
was the only remaining companion in my wanderings.
About the same time, the captain being unable to
make the Carnicobar island, where he intended taking
a cargo of cocoa nuts, we were driven into a dangerous
strait, between the Little and Great Andamans, two
savage coasts, where the captain had never been
before, and where, if we had been cast on shore, we
should (according to all accounts) have been killed
and eaten by the natives. But, as one evil is sometimes
an antidote to another, so it happened with us.
Our being driven into this dangerous, but quiet channel,
brought immediate relief to the agitated and exhausted
frame of Mrs. Judson, and conduced essentially
to her recovery. And, in the event, we were safely
conducted over the black rocks, which we sometimes
saw in the gulf below; and, on the eastern side of
the island, found favourable winds, which gently wafted
us forward to Rangoon. But, on our arrival here,
other trials awaited us.”

“We had never before seen a place where European
influence had not contributed to smooth and soften
the rough features of uncultivated nature. The prospect
of Rangoon, as we approached, was quite disheartening.
I went on shore, just at night, to take a
view of the place, and the mission house; but so dark, B8v 16
and cheerless, and unpromising did all things appear,
that the evening of that day, after my return to the
ship, we have marked as the most gloomy and distressing
that we ever passed. Such were our weaknesses,
that we felt we had no portion here below,
and found consolation only in looking beyond our
pilgrimage, which we tried to flatter ourselves would
be short, to that peaceful region, where the wicked
cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest. But
if ever we commended ourselves, sincerely and without
reserve, to the disposal of our heavenly Father, it
was on this evening. And, after some recollections
and prayer, we experienced something of the presence
of Him who cleaveth closer than a brother; something
of that peace which our Saviour bequeathed
to his followers—a legacy, which we know, from
this experience, endures when the fleeting pleasures
and unsubstantial riches of the world are passed
away. The next day Mrs. Judson was carried into the
town, being unable to walk, and we found a home at
the mission house erected by Mr. Chater. We soon
began to find that it was in our hearts to live and die
with the Burmans. We gradually became reconciled
to the place, and from a conviction of the superior
importance of this to any unoccupied station, and a
hope that, notwithstanding the frightful accounts we
had received, we should find it practicable to remain,
we were induced to pitch our tent. We applied very
soon to the study of the language, and in this we
have been closely engaged to the present time, so far
as Mrs. Judson’s health, and my numerous interruptions
have permitted.”

We now, my dear Sir, felt ourselves, in every sense B9r 17
of the word, on heathen ground. Not an individual
of any description with whom we could unite in social
prayer. We were surrounded by despotism, avarice,
and cruelty; and the darkness, the dreadful moral
darkness, of heathen idolatry, was evident, wherever
we turned our eyes. Our tongues could not perform
their office, for the language of the Burmans was then
to us a perfect jargon, and no animating prospect of
speedily overcoming this difficulty cheered the gloomy
scene. Yet our heavenly Father suffered us not to
despond. He compelled us to feel the full force of
those precious promises, relative to the conversion of
the heathen, which encourged us to look forward
with a degree of hope, which has since astonished
ourselves. We found the language extremely difficult,
and we had no teacher who understood both the
English and Burman languages. Our only mode of
ascertaining the names of the objects which met our
eye, was by pointing to them, in the presence of our
teacher, who would immediately speak the names in
Burman; we then expressed them as nearly as possible
by the Roman character, till we had sufficiently
acquired the power of the Burman.

As the state of the mission, from the period abovementioned
to the present time, has been transmitted
to the American Board, a selection and compilation of
those statements, will principally constitute my future
narrative:—From a journal, commenced 1813-07July, 1813,
and continued until 1815-09September, 1815, the following
extracts are taken.

“We feel disappointed in not finding Mr. Carey in
Rangoon, as he would be able to afford us some assistance
in the acquisition of the language. He has B9v 18
gone to Ava, having received an order to vaccinate
some of the members of the royal family. Mrs. Carey
is a native of the country, though of European extraction.
She has the entire charge of the family,
being familiar with the language, which enables her
to give directions to the servants. This circumstance
relieves me from every concern of this nature, so
that I devote my whole time to the study of the
language, which we find very difficult; but, with
diligence and perseverance, I doubt not we shall
be able to read, write, and speak it, in a few years,
with ease.
Our teacher is a good-natured, intelligent man.
Although it is contrary to the cast of a Hindoo, he
sits in a chair by us, and will eat with us. When he
first came, he was not very willing to instruct me,
appearing to feel that it was rather beneath him to instuct
a female, as the females here are held in the
lowest estimation. But when he saw I was determined
to persevere, and that Mr. Judson was as desirous
that he should instruct me as himself, he was
more attentive.
As it respects our food, we get along much better
than we expected. We have no bread, butter, cheese,
potatoes, or scarcely any thing to which we have been
accustomed. Our principle food is rice and curried
fowl, and fowls stewed with cucumbers. But, instead
of murmuring that we have no more of the comforts
of life, we have great reason to be thankful that we
have so many.
There are no English families in Rangoon, and
there is not a female in all Burmah with whom I can
converse. The country presents a rich and beautiful B10r 19
appearance, every where covered with vegetation
and, if cultivated, would be one of the finest in the
world. But the poor natives have little inducement
to labour, or to accumulate property, as it would, probably,
be taken from them by their oppressive rulers.—
Many of them live on leaves and vegetables, which
grow spontaneously, and some actually die with
hunger. At the present time there is quite a famine.
Every article of provision is extremely high; therefore
many are induced to steal whatever comes in their
way. There are constant robberies and murders committed.
Scarcely a night passes, but houses are
broken open, and things are stolen; but our trust and
confidence are in our heavenly Father, who can easily
preserve and protect us, though a host should encamp
about us. I think God has taught us, by experience,
what it is to trust in him, and to find comfort and
peace in feeling that he is every where present. O,
for more ardent, supreme love to him, and greater
willingness to suffer in his cause!
I again take my pen,
though I have nothing new to communicate; yet I
feel a pleasure and satisfaction, too great to be
neglected, in writing to those dear friends, whom I
never expect to see again, till I meet them in the
eternal world.
We are still going on in the language, though our
progress is so slow that it is hardly perceptible. You
can form no idea of the difficulties of acquiring a language,
like this, without a dictionary, grammar, or
even teacher, who understands both the English and
Burman. We should be quite discouraged, were we
not convinced that the acquisition of this is the only B10v 20
means by which we can communicate religions truths
to this perishing people.
From our first embarking for India, we have had
our eye on this empire, as a final residence; but we
have been repeatedly discouraged by the dreadful accounts
we have had of the ferocity and barbarity of
the natives, together with the many privations we must
suffer among entire heathens. Several missionaries
have made an attempt to reside here, but have been
discouraged, and left the place, without effecting any
thing. And some of these missionaries, we had reason
to think, possessed much more piety and devotedness
to missions than ourselves. No wonder, then, that
we were discouraged. But, after our heavenly Father
had severely tried us, in causing us to be driven from
place to place; he shut up every door, and made us
feel willing ‘to take our lives in our hands’, and to
come to this heathen land, to spend the remainder of
our days.
But, will you believe me, when I say we are
cheerful and happy? though we find the government
and people just as we expected; though we find ourselves
almost destitute of all those sources of enjoyment
to which we have been accustomed, and are in
the midst of a people, who, at present, are almost
desperate, on account of the scarcity of provisions;
though we are exposed to robbers by night, and invaders
by day, yet we both unite in saying we never
were happier, never more contented in any situation,
than the present. We feel that this is the post to
which God hath appointed us; that we are in the
path of duty; and in a situation, which, of all others,
presents the most extensive field for usefulness. And, B11r 21
though we are surrounded with danger and death, we
feel that God can, with infinite ease, preserve and support
us under the most heavy sufferings. But, for
these feelings, we are indebted wholly to the free, rich,
and sovereign grace of our Redeemer, and are still
dependent on him for a continuance of them; for it
is not three months since we looked at this situation,
with all that dread and horror which you can imagine.
It is our daily prayer, that we may be continued here,
and be made a blessing to the poor Burmans, who
are perishing for lack of knowledge.
But we mourn our unfitness to be engaged in the
great work of communicating religious knowledge to
the dark and benighted mind of a heathen. Our only
hope is in God. We know that he can bless his own
truth to the salvation of sinners, though it may be
communicated in ever so broken a manner; and by the
meanest of creatures. We rejoice that this great,
this powerful God, is our father and our friend, and
has opened a way of access for us sinners, and has
commanded us to open our mouths wide, with the promise
that he will fill them. He hath also said, he
‘will give the heathen to his Son, for an inheritance,
and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession.’
We cannot but hope the glorious day is drawing
near, when the promise will be fulfilled; and that
among other heathen nations, Burmah, cruel, avaricious,
idolatrous Burmah, will say to Jesus, ‘What
have I any more to do with idols? Come thou, and
reign over us.’
O my dear parents and sisters, pray for us, that
we may be humble, prayerful, and entirely devoted to
the cause of Christ. Pray for these poor people, who B11v 22
have altars and temples in high places, for the worship
of the prince of darkness. They are immortal
like ourselves, they are bound to the same eternity,
and, like us, they are capable of enjoying or suffering
endless happiness or eternal misery.
Not more refreshing to the
thirsty sons of Afric is the cooling stream; or more
luxurious to the meagre, half-starved native Andaman,
is a morsel of food, than your letters, my dear sisters,
to our weary and famished feelings. Two long
years and a half had elapsed since we left our native
country, without our hearing one word from any of
our American friends. Thirteen months of this time
have been spent in the cruel, avaricious, benighted,
country of Burmah, without a single Christian friend,
or female companion of any kind.
Our home is in the mission house, built by the
English Baptist Society, on the first arrival of Messers.
Carey in this country. It is large and convenient,
situated in a rural place, about half a mile
from the walls of the town. We have gardens enclosed,
containing about two acres of ground, full of
fruit trees of various kinds. In the dry season our
situation is very agreeable. We often enjoy a pleasant
walk, within our own enclosure, or in some of
the adjoining villages.
This is the first Sabbath that we
have united in commemorating the dying love of
Christ at his table. Though but two in number, we
feel the command as binding, and the privilege as great,
as though there were more; and we have indeed
found it refreshing to our souls.
To-day, for the first time, I have B12r 23
visited the wife of the viceroy. I was introduced to
her by a French lady who has frequently visited her.
When we first arrived at the government-house, she
was not up, consequently we had to wait some time.
But the inferior wives of the viceroy diverted us much
by their curiosity, in minutely examining every thing
we had on, and by trying on our gloves and bonnets,
&c. At last her highness made her appearance,
dressed richly in the Burman fashion, with a long silver
pipe in her mouth, smoking. At her appearance,
all the other wives took their seats at a respectful distance,
and sat in a crouching posture, without speaking.
She received me very politely, took me by the
hand, seated me upon a mat, and herself by me. She
excused herself for not coming in sooner, saying she
was unwell. One of the women brought her a bunch
of flowers, of which she took several and ornamented
my cap. She was very inquisitive whether I had a
husband and children, whether I was my husband’s
first wife—meaning by this, whether I was the highest
among them, supposing that Mr. Judson, like the Burmans,
had many wives— and whether I intended tarrying
long in this country.
When the viceroy came in I really trembled; for
I never before beheld such a savage looking creature.
His long robe and enormous spear not a little increased
my dread. He spoke to me, however, very condescendingly,
and asked if I would drink some rum or
wine. When I arose to go, her highness again took
my hand, told me she was happy to see me, that I
must come see her every day. She led me to the
door; I made my salaam, and departed. My only
object in visiting her was, that if we should get into B12v 24
any difficulty with the Burmans, I could have access to
her, when perhaps it would not be possible for Mr.
to have an audience with the viceroy.
We intend to have as little to do with the government
people as possible, as our usefulness will, probably,
be among the common people. Mr. Judson
lately visited the viceroy, when he scarcely deigned to
look at him, as Englishmen are no uncommon sight
in this country; but an English female is quite a
Yesterday we left the mission
house and moved into one in town, partly through
fear of robbers, and partly for the sake of being more
with the natives, and learning more of their habits and
manners. We shall also be in a way of getting the
language much sooner, as we shall hear it spoken
more frequently here, than we could in the house we
have left.
Our ears continually filled
with the intelligence of robberies and murders. Last
night a band of fifteen or twenty attacked a house
very near the one we had just left, and, after stabbing
the owner, robbed the house of every thing they
could find. The robbers were armed with large knives,
spears, and guns, which put all the people around in
such fear, that none dared to go to the assistance of
the sufferers.
This evening Mr. Judson and myself went to see
the person who was stabbed. We found him lying on
his bed, in great distress, surrounded by his Burman
friends, who appeared to sympathize with him in his
affliction. The poor man was anxious to know if
Mr. Judson could tell whether he would live, by feeling C1r 25
his pulse; but Mr. Judson told him he was not a
The viceroy is very much enraged at this daring
attempt, and has sent one of his principal officers, with
three hundred men, in search of the perpetrators.
All these things teach us the great need of the
gospel among this poor people. They also teach us
the need of being constantly prepared for a sudden,
violent death. O, that the time may soon come, when
this people will be able to read the Scriptures of truth
in their own language, and believe in that Saviour, who
is not only able to save them from such dreadful
crimes, but save their immortal souls from eternal
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 be buried. Their
immortal souls entered the eternal world without ever
having heard of Him, who was put to death as a malefactor,
to save the guilty.
A native of respectability came to our house soon
after the execution, and Mr. Judson asked him where
the souls of the robbers had gone? He said he did
not know; and asked if the souls of wicked men did
not enter into other bodies, and live in this world
again? Mr. Judson told him no, but they were fixed,
immoveably, in another state of existence.
To-day we have witnessed the Burman
ceremonies of burying a person of rank and respectability.C C1v 26
He was nephew to the current viceroy,
and son of a neighboring governor. He was killed
in Rangoon, accidentally, by the discharge of his gun.
The procession commenced by a number of Burmans,
armed with spears and bamboos, to keep the crowd in
order. Some of the inferior members of government
succeeded; then all the articles of use and wearing
apparel of the deceased, such as his beetle box, drinking
cup, looking-glass, &c. The father and train preceded;
the wife, mother, and sisters followed the
corpse in palanquins. The viceroy, his wife, and
family, on large elephants, concluded the procession.
The crowd, which was very great, followed promiscuously.
All the petty governors and principal inhabitants
of Rangoon were present; yet there was as
perfect order and regularity as could have been observed
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 deceased youth.
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. This governor was returning from the
great funeral above mentioned, and had nearly reached
his house, when a man on a sudden started up, and,
with one stroke, severed his head from his body. In
the bustle and confusion of his attendants, the murderer
escaped. He was, however, found, and the plot
discovered. It had its origin with the head steward
of the governor, who intended, after the execution of C2r 27
his master, to seize on his property, go up to the
king, and buy the office which his master had lately
occupied. He was put to the torture, and the above
confession extorted from him. He was afterwards
treated in the 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. The
immense property of this governor goes to the king,
as he left no children, though several wives remain.
To-day, as usual, we
came out to the mission house, that we might enjoy
the Sabbath in a more quiet way. We had but just
arrived, when one of our servants informed us that
there was a fire near the town. We hastened to the
place whence the fire proceeded, and beheld several
houses in flames, in a range which led directly to the
city; and as we saw no exertions to extinguish it, we
concluded the whole place 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 of
wood. After waiting, however, for some time, the
gate was opened, and we removed in safety all our
things to the mission house. The fire continued to
rage all day, and swept away almost all the houses,
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 C2 C2v 28
burning sun, we had a comfortable house, and the
necessaries of life.
Though we are here exposed to thieves and robbers,
yet He who has preserved us in every emergency,
is still our 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.
Mr. F. Carey has lately returned from
Calcutta, and much refreshed our minds with letters
and intelligence from our friends.—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 dry places streams of water.
To-day, Mr. F. Carey, his 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 world. If it were not that
Burmah presents such an unbounded field for missionary C3r 29
exertions, we could 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, for
the sake of enjoying a few more temporal comforts,
we should have no reason to expect his blessing on
our exertions.
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
the prospect of 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.
Heard the dreadful intelligence of
the loss of Mr. F. Carey’s vessel, wife and children.
and all his property! He barely escaped with his .
life! How soon are all his hopes blasted! He
set out for Ava in a brig, which belonged to
the Burman government, having 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 children,
all the women servants, and some of the men servants,
who could not swim, were lost. Mr. Carey endeavoured
to save his little boy (three years old), but
finding himself going down, was obliged to give up
the child.
As it respects ourselves, we are busily employed
all day long. I can assure you that we find much
pleasure in our employment. Could you look into a
large open room, which we call a verandah, you would C3v 30
see Mr. Judson bent over his table, covered with Burman
books, with his teacher at his side, a venerable
looking man, in his sixtieth year, with a cloth wrapped
round his middle, and a handkerchief on his head.—
They talk and chatter all day long, with hardly any
My mornings are busily employed in giving directions
to the servants, providing 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 interruptions
than Mr. 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 years’s
experience, that it is the most direct way I could have
taken to acquire the language; as I am frequently
obliged to speak Burman all day. I can talk and understand
others better than Mr. Judson, though he
knows more about the nature and construction of the
A new viceroy has lately arrived, who is much beloved
and respected by the people. He visited us soon
after his arrival, and told us that we must come to the
government-house very often. We have been once
or twice since, and have been treated with much more
familiarity and respect than the natives of the country.
After he had moved into his new house, he gave
an invitation to all the English and Frenchmen to
dinner. The viceroy and his wife did every thing in
their power to amuse the company. Among other
things were music and dancing. The wife of the C4r 31
viceroy asked me if I knew how to dance in the Engglish
way? I told her it was not proper for the
wives of priests to dance. She immediately assented,
and thought that a sufficient reason for my declining.
She then asked what kind of 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.
The Burmans have a very great regard for their
priests. They consider them a higher order of beings
than other men. This was the cause of the marked
attention we received from her ladyship. I wish I
could write you something about the conversion of the
Burmans, or their eagerness to hear the word of God.
No missionary has ever attempted to preach
among the natives, so that we are hardly able to judge
how the gospel would be received, if publicly preached.
Yet their firm belief of the divine origin of their
religion, renders it improbable, to human appearance,
that they would willingly receive the gospel.
We often converse with our teachers and servants
on the subject of our coming to 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, yours for you’
. But we are far from being
discouraged. We are sensible that the hearts of the
heathen, as well as those of Christians, are in the hands
of God, and in his own time he will turn them unto
Much wisdom and precaution 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 C4v 32
live among the heathen. Though we have met, and
continue to meet, with many trials and discouragements,
yet we have never, for a moment, regretted
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 very much, very much grace, that we
may persevere, 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.”

I remain, my dear Sir,
Very affectionately and respectfully,


Letter IV.


My Dear Sir,

My only excuse for the length of the preceding
letter, is the continued connexion of those events
which I could not well separate. I have thus far introduced
in my relation many more extracts from my
own, than from Mr. Judson’s letters.—During the first
years of our residence in Burmah, I was in the habit
of noting little occurrences much more frequently
than Mr. Judson, as his whole time and thoughts were
exclusively devoted to the acquisition of the language. C5r 33
I ought, under some circumstances, to make an
apology for saying so much about our personal concerns;
but, when I recollect how frequently you
urged me to be particular in my relation, and to send
you every thing that had ever been printed, I feel
that an excuse of any kind is unnecessary.

A letter written about this time to Mr. Newell our
former associate, is a continued description of our
plans and prospects:

“A few days since we welcomed yours of --12-18December
, the only one we have recived since you left us,
at Port Louis. It brought fresh to my mind a recollection
of scenes formerly enjoyed in our dear
native country. Well do I remember our first
interesting conversations on missions, and on the
probable events that awaited us in India. Those
were happy days. Newell and Judson, Harriet and
Ann, then were united in the strictest friendship—
then anticipated spending their lives together, in
sharing the trials and toils, the pleasures and enjoyments,
of a missionary life. But, alas! behold us
now! In the Isle of France, solitary and alone, lies all
that was once visible of the lovely Harriet. A melancholy
wanderer, in the Island of Ceylon, is brother
Newell; and the savage, heathen empire of Burmah,
is destined to be the future residence of Judson and
Ann! But is this seperation to be for ever? shall we
four never again enjoy social, happy intercourse? Yes,
my dear brother, our seperation is of short duration.
There is a rest, a peaceful, happy rest, where Jesus
reigns, where we four shall soon meet, to part no more.
As Mr. Judson will not have time to write to you
by this opportunity, I will endeavour to give you some C5 C5v 34
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 never see a
European face. When we feel a disposition to sigh
for the enjoyments of our native country, we turn to
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 has 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 cover them from the
burning sun or chilly rains, than that which a small
piece of cloth, raised on four bamboos, under the
shade of 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 superior spiritual blessings! C6r 35
While they vainly imagine to purchase promotion, in
another state of existence, by strictly worshipping 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, and feel contented and
happy with our lot, with but one wish remaining, that
of being instrumental in leading these Burmans to
partake of the same source of happiness with ourselves.
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 instructors, Mr.
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 Pali, the learned language
of the Burmans.
We are very anxious to hear from our dearest brethren,
Nott and Hall. We firmly believe they will yet
be permitted to stay in India, notwithstanding their
repeated difficulties. They have, indeed, had a trying
time: but, perhaps, it is to prepare them for further
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 in Madras, and the vessel which
carried them has not been heard of since. You may C6v 36
easily judge of our feelings of disappointment.
You can hardly form an idea of 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.”

The above extracts will give you some idea of the
state of the country, and of our mode of living, during
the two first years of our residence in that heathen
land. Yet we never felt a desponding sensation.
Those providential occurrences, which directed us
thither, were referred to, as a kind of assurance that
we were in the path of duty; we were convinced that
we had followed the leadings of Providence, and
doubted not, that by the time we were qualified to
communicate religious truth, the present apparently
insurmountable obstacles would be removed, and that
some way would be opened for the establishment of
the mission. A disciplinary school, however, was still
open for our benefit.

After the first six months of our residence in Rangoon,
my health had been on the decline, and as there
was no medical aid in the country, Mr. J. felt the necessity
of my going to some foreign port for its restoration.
Such was the state of our infant mission,
that I could not consent that Mr. J. should accompany
me. I therefore embarked in 1814-01January, 1814, for Mad
, at which place I entirely recovered, and returned
in the April following. During my absence, Mr. Judson
had no individual Christian with whom he could converse,
or unite in prayer. He, however, pursued his C7r 37
great object, the acquiring of the language; and
during this interval, was much encouraged by accounts
from our dear native country, of the rapid increase of
a missionary spirit.

It would perhaps be unnecessary for me to mention
the circumstances of our becoming Baptists on our
passage out to India, were it not in connexion with
the formation of the present Baptist Board of Missions.
A missionary impulse, before unknown, was
given to the Baptist denomination throughout the
United States, by the indefatigable exertions of Mr.
, and by the circumstance of there being a missionary
on heathen ground, of their own order, looking
to them for encouragement and co -operation.

On the 1814-05-1818th of May, 1814, a meeting of Baptist
ministers, from most of the States, took place in Philadelphia,
for the purpose of forming a General Convention,
in order to concentrate the energies, and direct
the efforts of the denomination, in sending the
gospel to the heathen.

“Perhaps no event (remarks one who was present)
has ever taken place among the Baptist denomination
in America, which has excited more lively interest,
than the late missionary convention. It was, indeed,
a sight no less novel than interesting, to behold brethren
who had hitherto been personally unknown to
each other, collecting from north to south, from Massachusetts
to Georgia, a distance of more than a thousand
miles, for the important purpose of forming a
General Convention.”

How much encouragement Mr. Judson, in his solitary
situation, derived from the above-mentioned event,
may be seen from the following extracts from his C7v 38
journal, which also narrate his first attempt to communicate
religious instruction to his teacher.

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.
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, seem like the dawn of a morning in
the East? Oh, 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 scenes around him present
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 comforts here below’.
Called on the viceroy to pay my
respects, on his return from an expedition to Martaban.
He and his family have always treated me with civility,
on learning that I was a minister of religion.
C8r 39 On my return, was visited by Mr. Babasheen, an
aged Armenian, in high office under government. The
ideas of the Armenian on the subject of practical religion,
are very similar to those of the Roman Catholics.
This gentleman supposes, that having been
christened in infancy, having confessed to his priest at
stated times, &c. he shall certainly be saved. I told
him, except a man be born again, he cannot enter into
heaven. He inquired how a man could be born again.
I related to him the conversation of our Lord and Nicodemus,
which was all new to him. He called for
his —Armenian Bible, which was kept carefully wrapped
up in a cloth, and having read the chapter, said that I
was right, and that our Bibles were the same. Then
holding out his hand, ‘Here’, said he, pointing to his
wrist, ‘is the root of the religion. This finger is the
—Armenian church, this the —Roman Catholic, this the
—English, &c. All are the same.’
I told him that the Bible
was indeed the same, but those only who adhered to
it would be saved. ‘Ah,’ said he, ‘you cannot speak
the language fluently. I find it difficult to understand
you. When you can talk better, come and see me
often, and I shall get wisdom.’
I was ready to reply,
Poor man, ere that time comes you will probably be in
the grave; but contented myself with lifting up my
my heart unto God.
Had the following conversation
with my teacher. This man has been with me about
three months, and is the most sensible, learned, and
candid man, that I have ever found among the Burmans.
He is forty-seven years of age, and his name
is Oo Oungmeng. I began by saying, ‘Mr. J―― is
Oo.‘I have heard so.’ J‘His soul is lost, I C8v 40
Oo.‘Why so?’ J.‘He was not a disciple of
Oo.‘How do you know that? You could
not see his soul.’
J‘How do you know whether the
root of the mango tree is good? You cannot see it;
but you can judge by the fruit on its branches. Thus
I know that Mr. J―― was not a disciple of Christ,
because his words and actions were not such as indicate
the disciple.’
Oo.‘And so all who are not disciples
of Christ are lost!’
J.‘Yes, all, whether Burmans or
Oo.‘This is hard.’ J.‘Yes, it is hard,
indeed; otherwise I should not have come at all this
way, and left parents and all, to tell you of Christ.’

[He seemed to feel the force of this, and after stopping
a little, he said,] ‘How is it that the disciples of Christ
are so fortunate above all other men?’
J.‘Are not all men
sinners, and deserving of punishment in a future state?’

Oo.‘Yes; all must suffer, in some future state for the
sins they commit. The punishment follows the crime,
as surely as the wheel of a cart follows the footsteps of
the ox.’
J.‘Now according to the Burman system,
there is no escape. According to the Christian system
there is. Jesus Christ has died in the place of sinners;
has borne their sins, and now those who believe on
him, and becomes his disciples, are released from the
punishment they deserve. At death they are received
into heaven, and are happy for ever.’
Oo.‘That I will
never believe. My mind is very stiff on this one
point, namely, that all existence involves in itself
principles of misery and destruction.’
there are two evil futurities, and one good. A miserable
future existence is evil, and annihilation or nigban
is an evil, a fearful evil. A happy future existence is
alone good.’
Oo.‘I admit that it is best, if it could C9r 41
be perpetual; but it cannot be. Whatever is, is liable
to change, and misery, and destruction. Nigban is
the only permanent good, and that good has been attained
by Gaudama, the last deity.’
J.‘If there be an
eternal Being, you cannot account for any thing.
Whence this world, and all that we see?’
J.‘Fate! the cause must always be equal to the
effect. See, I raise this table; see, also, that ant under
it: suppose I were invisible; would a wise man say
the ant raised it? Now fate is not even an ant. Fate
is a word, that is all. It is not an agent, not a thing.
What is fate?’
Oo.‘The fate of creatures, is the influence
which their good or bad deeds have on their
future existence.’
J.‘If influence be exerted, there
must be an exerter. If there be determination, there
must be a determiner.’
Oo.‘No; there is no determiner.
There cannot be an eternal Being.’
this point. It is a main point of true wisdom.
Whenever there is an execution of a purpose, there
must be an agent.’
Oo.—[After a little thought] ‘I
must say that my mind is very decided and hard, and
unless you tell me something more to the purpose, I
shall never believe.’
J.‘Well, teacher, I wish you
to believe, not for my profit, but for yours. I daily
pray the true God to give you light, that you may
believe. Whether you will ever believe in this
world I don’t know, but when you die I know you
will believe what I now say. You will then appear
before the God you now deny.’
Oo.‘I don’t know
Was called to attend the funeral of
captain C――. At the grave, saw several persons
present who could understand me in English, and accordingly C9v 42
gave them an exhortation before prayer.
May the Lord grant his blessing.
An opportunity of sending to Bengal
occurs, by which I shall forward this, I know not
whether to call it a letter or journal. But something of
this sort, I propose continuing, to be addressed to the
Corresponding Secretary; though it be not a journal
in the strict acceptation of the word, that is, an account
of every day. If a missionary, during his first
years, should attempt keeping such a narrative, he
might find little to insert under most of the dates, but
the number of pages read, new words acquired, and
idle conversation with the natives—idle, indeed, in
substance, but not in purpose, being indispensable to
his thoroughly attaining the phraseology and pronunciation
of the language.
I am sometimes a little dispirited, when I reflect,
that for two or three years past I have been drilling at
A, B, C, and grammar. But I consider again, that the
some one must acquire this language, buy dint of application;
must translate the Scriptures, and must
preach the gospel to the people in their own tongue,
or how can they be saved? My views of the missionary
object are, indeed, different from what they were
when I was first set on fore by Buchanan’s—Star in
the East
six years ago. But it does not always happen
that a closer acquaintance with an object diminishes
our attachment and preference. We sometimes dissocer
beauties as well as deformities, which are overlooked
in a superficial view: when some attractions lose
their force, others more permanent are exerted; and when
the glitter, in which novelty invested the object, has C10r 43
passed away, more substantial excellencies have room
to disclose their influence: and so it has been with me,
I hope, in regard to the work of the missions. I remain,
Rev. and dear, Sir, yours affectionately in the Lord.”

Some of the principal difficulties in obtaining a
thorough knowledge of the Burman language, are
enumerated in the following letter from Mr. J. to the
Rev. Mr. Bolles, in Salem:

Your letter of
1816-03March, 1815, I lately received, and read with real satisfaction.
Neither brother Rice, nor any of the others
that you mention, have been heard of in these parts.
May they not be far distant!
Whenever they shall arrive, I hope to be of some
real service to them in their preparatory studies, and
to be able, in a short time, to give them information
on many points, which it has cost me months to acquire.
I just now begin to see my way forward in this language,
and hope that two or three years more will
make it somewhat familiar; but I have met with difficulties
that I have no idea of before I entered on the work.
For a European or American to acquire a living oriental
language, root and branch, and make his own, is
quite a different thing from his acquiring a cognate
language of the west, or any of the dead languages,
as they are studied in the schools. One circumstance
may serve to illustrate this. I once had occasion to
devote a few months to the study of the French. I
have now been above two years engaged in the Burman.
But if I were to chuse between a Burman and
a French book, to be examined in, without previous
study, I should, without the least hesitation, choose
the French. When we take up a western language, C10v 44
the similarity in the characters, in very many terms
in many modes of expression, and in the geneal structure
of the sentences, its being in fair print, (a circiumstance
we hardly think of,) and the assistance of
grammars, dictionaries, and instructors, render the
work comparatively easy. But when we take up a
language spoken by a people on the other side of the
earth, whose very thoughts run in channels diverse
from ours, and whose modes of expression are consequently
all new and uncouth; when we find the letters
and words all totally destitute of the least resemblance
to any language we have ever met with, and these
words not fairly divided, and distinguished, as in
western writing, by breaks and points, and capitals,
but run together in one continuous line, a sentence or
paragraph seeming to the eye but one long word;
when, instead of clear characters on paper, we find
only obscure scratches on dried palm leaves strung
together, and called a book; when we have no dictionary,
no interpreter to explain a single word,
and must get something of the language, before we
can avail ourselves of the assistance of a native
‘Hoc opus, hic labor est’.
I had hoped, before I came here, that it would not be
my lot to have to go alone, without any guide, in an
unexplored path, especially, as missionaries had been
here before. But Mr. Chater has left the country, and
Mr. F. Carey was with me very little, before he left
the mission and the missionary work altogether.
I long to write something more interesting and
encouraging to the friends of the mission; but it
must not yet be expected. It unavoidably takes several C11r 45
years to acquire such a language, in order to converse,
and write intelligently on the great truths of the
gospel. Dr. Carey once told me, that after he had
been some years in Bengal, and thought he was doing
very well, in conversing and preaching with the natives
they (as he was afterwards convinced) knew not what
he was about. A young missionary, who expects to
pick up the language in a year or two, will probably
find that he has not counted the cost. If he should be
so fortunate as to obtain a good interpreter, he may
be useful by that means. But he will learn, especially
if he is in a new place, where the way if not prepared,
and no previous ideas communicated, that to qualify
himself to communicate divine truth intelligibly, by his
voice or pen, is not the work of a year. However,
notwithstanding my present great incompetency, I am
beginning to translate the —New Testament, being extremely
anxious to get some parts of Scripture, at least,
into an intelligible shape, if for no other purpose than
to read, as occasion offers, to the Burmans with whom
I meet.
My paper allows me to add nothing more, but to
beg your prayers, that, while I am much occupied in
words and phrases, and destitute of those gospel privileges
you so richly enjoy, in the midst of your dear
church and people, I may not lose the life of religion
in my soul.”

Thus were we situated, when an event occurred,
which wrung our hearts with anguish; the mention
of which I cannot prevail on myself to omit, though
not strictly connected with my missionary relation.
I allude to the death of our first-born, our only son.
Deprived, as we were, of every source of enjoyment C11v 46
of a temporal nature, our every affection was entangled
by this darling object. When our heavenly Father saw
we had converted the precious gift into an idol, he
removed it from us, and thereby taught us the necessity
of placing our supreme affections on Him. A letter
written soon after this severe affliction, to a friend in,
America, describes, in some measure, our state of

The sun of another holy Sabbath
has arisen upon us, and though no chiming of
bells has called us to the house of God, yet we, two in
number, have bowed the knee to our Father in heaven;
have invoked his holy name; have offered him our
feeble praise; have meditated in his sacred word; and
commemorated the dying love of a Saviour to a
perishing world. Inestimable privileges! not denied
even in a land where the prince of darkness reigns!
Since worship, I have stolen away to a muchloved
spot, where I love to sit and pay the tribute of
affection to my lost, darling child. It is a little enclosure
of mango trees, in the centre of which is
erected a small bamboo house, on a rising spot of
ground, which looks down on the new made grave of
our infant boy. Here I now sit; and, though all nature
around wears a most romantic, delightful appearance,
yet my heart is sad, and my tears frequently stop
my pen. You my dear Mrs. L, who are a mother,
may imagine my sensations; but, if you have never
lost a first-born, an only son, you cannot know my
pain. Had you even buried your little boy, you are in
a Christian country, surrounded by friends and relatives
who could sooth your anguish, and direct your attention
to other objects. But, behold us, solitary and C12r 47
alone, with this source of recreation! Yet this
is denied us— this must be removed, to show us that
we need no other source of enjoyment but God himself.
Do not think though I write thus, that I repine at the
dealings of Providence, or would wish them to be
otherwise than they are. No: ‘though he slay me, I
will trust in him,’
is the language I would adopt.
Though I say with the prophet, ‘Behold, and see if
there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow,’
yet I would
also say with him, ‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that
we are not consumed, because his compassions fail
God is the same when he afflicts, as when he is
merciful: just as worthy of our entire trust and confidence
now, as when he intrusted us with the precious
little gift. There is a bright side, even in this heavy
affliction. Our little Roger is not lost: the little bud
which began to open into a beautiful flower, is now
rapidly expanding in a more propitious clime, and
reared by a more unerring hand. He is now, I doubt
not, in the immediate presence of that Saviour, of
whom he was ignorant in this world, and ‘Adores the grace that brought him there,Without a wish without a care;That washed his soul in Calvary’s stream,That shortened life’s distressing dream.Short pain, short grief, dear babe, was thine,Now joys eternal and divine!’
Who would not, from motives of gratitude love a
Being who has made such provision for a perishing
world! who can, on account of the merits of the
Redeemer, consistently with his own perfections, raise C12v 48
polluted sinners from the lowest state of degradation,
and make them fit for the enjoyment of himself!
‘They who know thy name will put their trust in thee.’”

The following elegant effusion was written and presented
on the occasion, by the Rev. J. Lawson, Calcutta:

“Hush’d be the murmuring thought! Thy will be done, O Arbiter of life and death! I bow To thy command. I yield the precious gift, So late bestowed, and to the silent grave Move sorrowing, yet submissive. O, sweet babe! I lay thee down to rest. The cold, cold earth, A pillow for thy little head. Sleep on, Serene in death. No care shall trouble thee. All undisturbed thou slumberest; far more still, Than when I lull’d thee in my lap, and sooth’d Thy little sorrows till they ceased.— Then felt thy mother peace; her heart was light As the sweet sigh that ’scap’d thy placid lips, And joyous as the dimpled smile that play’d Across thy countenance.— O, I must weep To think of thee, dear infant on my knees, Untroubled, sleeping! Bending o’er thy form, I watched with eager hope to catch the laugh, First waking from thy sparkling eye, a beam, Lovely to me, as the blue light of heaven. Dimm’d in the agony of death, it beams no more! O, yet once more I kiss thy marble lips, Sweet babe! and press with mine thy whiten’d cheeks Farewell, a long farewell!— Yet visit me In dreams, my darling! Though the vision’d joy Wake bitter pangs; still be thou in my thoughts, And I will cherish the dear dream, and think I still possess thee. Peace, my bursting heart!— Oh! I submit. Again I lay thee down, D1r 49 Dear relic of a mother’s hope. Thy spirit, Now mingled with cherubic hosts, adores The grace that ransom’d it, and lodg’d it safe Above the stormy scene.”

I remain, my dear Sir,
Very affectionately and respectfully,

A. H. J.

Letter V.

My dear sir,

From our first embarking in the missionary enterprise,
afflictions and trials had ever been intermixed
with our most prosperous circumstances. But on this
we had calculated; though we often found ourselves
unprepared to meet trials in that way, which an unerring
Providence saw necessary. Our hopes, relative
to the gradual progress and final success of the mission,
were, until now, very sanguine; and we fondly trusted
that whatever trials would have a tendency to retard or
impede its advancement, would be averted. But not
so. The gradual decline of Mr. Judson’s health, began
to effect a revolution in our missionary plans, hopes,
and prospects. His anxiety to preach the unsearchable
riches of Christ to the Burmans, had induced him to
apply more closely to the study of the language than
an eastern climate would allow. This circumstance,
together with the want of exercise and proper diet,
reduced him to an alarming state of debility and nervous
affection. The following letters will give you
some idea of our situation at this time:

D D1v 50 I again, my dear parents, take
my pen to address you — must again tell you of
trials and afflictions, which have, more or less, been
our lot from our first engaging in the mission. Mr.
, in consequence of too close application to
study, during the hot season, has so far injured his
head and nerves, that he is entirely unable to study, or
attend to any thing. His illness has been gradually
increasing for four months, and it is now three, since
he laid aside study altogether. For some time after
his eyes were affected, I read to him in Burman, and
in this way he was enabled to continue his studies.
But now the state of his nerves is such, that he cannot
even hear me read. His digestive powers are so weak,
that he is unable to take any nourishment, except rice
and vegetables. We are seriously contemplating a voyage
to Bengal, hoping that the sea air, or some medical
assistance, may be beneficial. We cannot comprehend
the design of Providence in these things. If we go
to Bengal, the mission must, at least, for a time, be
given up, as there is no one to continue here. Whether
we shall ever be able to return, or not, is uncertain.
We had fondly hoped that, by the time the language
was acquired, a wide and effectual door would
be opened for the preaching of the gospel. But our
hopes are blasted, and our brightest prospects darkened.
And now, my dear parents, I think I hear you
say, ‘Are you not discouraged yet? Is it not best
entirely to abandon your object, and come home to
America, and settle down in peace and quiet?’
by no means. We will still intercede with our heavenly
Father, not only to return us to this mission,
but to make this affliction tend greatly to its advancement. D2r 51
Or, if we may not be permitted to return, we
will beg and plead with others to come, and go on
with the mission. We will tell them that it is possible
for the missionary families to live in Burmah without molestation.
We will tell them what our eyes have seen, and
what our eyes have heard, of the dreadful delusions
of this people, and how much they need the commiseration
of the Christian world. We will do more. We
will return to Burmah with them, and spend the remainder
of our days, though deprived of health and
strength, in assisting them to acquire the language,
and encouraging them in their arduous work. No,
my dear parents, our hearts are fixed on this mission;
and, with grace assisting us, we shall relinquish it
only with our lives.
A few days after the death of our little boy, her
highness, the viceroy’s wife, visited us, with a numerous
retinue. She really appeared to sympathize with
us in our affliction, and requested Mr. Judson not to
let it too much affect his health, which was already
very feeble. Some time after her visit, she invited us
to go out into the country with her, for the benefit of
our health, and that our minds, as she expressed it,
might become cool. We consented; and she sent us
an elephant, with a howdah upon it, for our conveyance.
We went three or four miles through the woods.
Sometimes the small trees were so near together, that
our way was impassable, but by the elephant’s breaking
them down, which he did with the greatest ease, at
the word of the driver. The scene was truly interesting.
Picture to yourselves, my dear parents, thirty
men with spears and guns, and red caps on their heads,
which partly covered their shoulders, then a huge elephantD2 D2v 52
caparisoned with a gilt howdah, which contained
a tall, genteel female, richly dressed in red and white
silk. We had the honour of riding next to her ladyship;
after us, three or four elephants, with her son
and some of the members of government. Two or
three hundred followers, male and female, concluded
the procession. Our ride terminated in the centre of
a beautiful garden of the viceroy’s. I say beautiful,
because it was entirely the work of nature —; art had
no hand in it. It was full of a variety of fruit trees,
growing wild and luxuriant. The noble banyan formed
a delightful shade, under which our mats were spread,
and we seated ourselves to enjoy the scenery around
us. Nothing could exceed the endeavours of the
vice-reine to make our excursion agreeable. She gathered
fruit, and pared it; culled flowers, and knotted
them, and presented them with her own hands; which
was a mark of her condescension. At dinner she had
her cloth spread by ours, nor did she refuse to partake
of whatever we presented her. We returned in the
evening, fatigued with riding on the elephant, delighted
with the country and hospitality of the Burmans,
and dejected and depressed with their superstition
and idolatry —; their darkness, and ignorance of the
true God.
Though we have never said any thing to the viceroy’s
family on the subject of religion, yet they perceive
a great difference between us and the other foreigners
who occasionally visit them. Mr. Judson seldom goes
to the government-house, as it is easier for me to have
access to her ladyship, than for him to do business
with the viceroy. She treats me with great familiarity;
but I am generally reserved and serious in her presence, D3r 53
yet manifest a tender concern for her welfare, with
which she is much pleased. I do not yet despair of
finding some opportunity to introduce the subject of
religion to her, in such a way as may not appear intrusive
or disgusting. Were I to appear before her in
the character of a teacher, she would think me far
beneath her notice, and perhaps forbid my approaching
her again: therefore, I think it most judicious to convince
her, by my conduct, that I am really different
from other females who surround her, and so far to
gain her confidence and affection, that I can gradually
introduce the subject, without her perceiving my
‘Sorrow may endure for a night,
but joy cometh in the morning.’
Yes, my dear parents,
I can write of mercies, as well as afflictions. The
dark cloud, which hung over us, when I last wrote, is
dispersed; and the sun of prosperity, when more
brilliant by contrast, once more shines upon us. We
are still in Rangoon, and our prospects brighter than
ever. A few days after my last date, a pious captain
from Bengal offered us a passage to Calcutta. This
circumstance determined us on going, as Mr. Judson’s
health continued to decline; and we made preparations
accordingly. The captain, who resided with us,
during his stay in Rangoon, suggested the idea of Mr.
taking exercise on horseback every morning
with him, and for this purpose procured a horse. This
exercise was at first painful; but, by persevering in
it, and adopting a more generous diet, he found he
was not growing worse, as he had been for the three
last months. Still, however, his disorder appeared
obstinate, and urged the necessity of a voyage to sea. D3v 54
We had got every thing in readiness, even an order
from the viceroy, without which no female can leave
the country, when we received the joyful intelligence
that Mr. Hough and his family had arrived in Bengal,
and would soon join us at Rangoon. I immediately
gave up the idea of going, though we still thought a
voyage necessary for Mr. Judson. The vessel, however,
in which we were to sail, was destined much
longer than we expected. During this time the distressing
pain in Mr. Judson’s head was less frequent,
and, by persevering in his course of exercise and
change of diet, we began to hope that he might be
restored to health, without going to sea, and we
therefore relinquished the voyage altogether. His
health is now much better, though he is not able to
study so closely as formerly.
The vice-reine has lately been called to Ava, but
the viceroy still remains. I regretted her going, on
several accounts. She had evidently become much
attached to me. I had an opportunity of trying the
sincerity of her friendship at the time we procured our
order for going to Bengal. I went to her with a petition,
which Mr. Judson had written, and, contrary to
Burman custom, appeared without a present. She
was in an inner room, with the viceroy, when I presented
the petition; and, after hearing it read, she
said it should be granted. She called her secretary,
and directed him to write an official order, have it regularly
passed through all the offices, and impressed
with the royal stamp. I was determined not to leave
her until I received the order, as it would be very difficult
to obtain it, unless delivered in her presence. It
was not long after the order was sent for the government-house, D4r 55
before one of her under officers came in,
and told me it would be a long time before my order
would pass through the several offices, and that I had
better return to my house, and he would bring it me.
The viceroy’s wife asked me if that would answer my
purpose? Being perfectly acquainted with the object
of the man, I replied, that I had had much anxiety on
account of this order, and, if it was her pleasure I
preferred waiting for it. She said it should be as I
wished, and ordered the man to expedite the business.
Being ill, she did not leave her room through the day,
and I had an opportunity of conversing much with
her. Among other things, she asked what was Mr.
object in coming to this country? Before I
had time to answer, an elderly woman present, with
whom I had had considerable conversation on the subject
of religion, replied that ‘Mr. Judson had come to
tell the Burmans of the true God,’
&c.; and went on
and related all that I had ever said to her. The viceroy’s
wife then asked me what was the difference between
the God I worshipped, and Gaudama? I had
begun to tell her, when one of her people brought in
a bag of silver. After she had given orders respecting
the money, she wished me to proceed. I had but just
begun the second time, when two or three members
of government came in, and there it ended. My order
was delivered me towards evening; and then I made
her a present, expressed the obligations I was under,
and bid her good evening. When an order of this kind
is procured by the under officers, it costs about twentyfive
dollars, besides much trouble and perplexity.
My health is tolerably good, my time was never so
completely occupied as at present, and I would not D4v 56
change situations with any person on earth. For a
month or two past, I have been employed in writing a
little Catechism for children, in the Burman language.
It is just completed, and I am teaching it to a few
children under my care who are learning to read.
Thus, my dear parents, I have given you a general
account of our circumstances for several months. I
must now conclude, and prepare my letters to send to
Calcutta, by the present opportunity. Rest assured
that this letter leaves us in more comfortable circumstances
than we have ever before enjoyed in this place.
But we need more grace, more humility, and more
devotedness to the cause of God. Do not let a day
pass without praying for us.”

From Mr. Judson to Dr. Staughton, still farther particulars
are communicated:

Four months have now elapsed
since I was seized with a nervous affection of my head
and eyes, which has prevented my making any advance
in the language, and, the greater part of the time, has
incapacitated me for even writing a letter. I had fully
made up my mind to take passage to Bengal with
Captain Kidd, a pious man, who has been living with
us for the last two months, when the news reached us
that brother Hough had arrived in Bengal, and might
be expected here in a few weeks. I consequently concluded
to wait, for the present, and take some future
opportunity of trying the sea air, and getting some
medical assistance, without which, I have for some
time feared I should never be able to apply myself
again to my studies. Within a few days, however, I
have felt more relief from the pain and distressing
weakness of my eyes, than I have known since I was D5r 57
first taken; and I begin to hope that measures I am
now pursuing will issue in my recovery, without a
sea voyage.
Since the 1816-04-1111th of last April, I have not been able
to read a page in a Burman book. During this period
I found that I could attend, with less pain, to the
compilation of a Burman grammar, than to any other
study. And this I was induced to persevere in, from
the hope that, if I was never again able to prosecute
the study of the language, the knowledge I had hitherto
acquired, would not be wholly lost to a successor.
The grammar is now completed, and I fully
intended to forward you a copy by this conveyance;
but I find that, in my present state, it is impossible for
me to transcribe it. All that I can do at present, is to
send you a copy of a Burman tract, which has been
chiefly composed during the same period, and which I
accompany with an English translation. The Burman
original is pronounced by my teacher and others, not
only intelligible, but perspicuous; and to get this
printed was one object that I had in view in going to
Bengal. Brother Hough has, however, just sent round
a press and types, which are now in the Rangoon river;
and as he expects to follow himself, the first opportunity,
and, as I have heard, he understands the printing
business, I hope the time is not far distant when we
shall have a bit of bread to give to the starving, perishing
Burmans around us.
It will probably be impossible to keep the press
long in Rangoon. It will be ordered up to Ava as
soon as the news of such a curiosity reaches the king’s
ears. Nor is this to be regretted; under the overruling
providence of God, it may open a wide door to D5 D5v 58
missionary exertions. Two of us would remove to
Ava. But we could not subsist there, without an intermediate
station at Rangoon. In this view of things,
it would be very desirable that another man should be
found to accompany brother Rice. If I should say
two men with brother Rice, as I wish to do, it might
appear inconsistent with something I wrote some time
ago. However, the press and a station at Ava, quite
alter the circumstances. I have been led to think and
inquire more about Ava of late, by a report that is in
circulation, that I am soon to be ordered up to Ava
myself. And the more I think of it, the more I am
inclined to believe that it is the way in which the gospel
is to be introduced into this empire.
The British Baptists have made a noble beginning
in Western India. It remains for American Baptists
to make an attempt on the Eastern side. As for
myself, I fear I shall prove only a pioneer, and do a
little in preparing the way for others. But, such as I
am, I feel devoted to the work, and, with the grace of
God, and the help of the Society, am resolved to persevere
to the end of my life.”

A letter of the same date, to Mr. Rice, will shew
what considerations prevented discouragement under
such circumstances:

“If any ask what success I meet with among the
natives? tell them to look at Otaheite, where the
missionaries laboured nearly twenty years, and, not
meeting with the slightest success, began to be neglected
by all the Christian world, and the very name of
Otaheite was considered a shame to the cause of missions;
but now the blessing begins to descend. Tell
them to look at Bengal also, where Dr. Thomas had D6r 59
been labouring seventeen years, that is, from 17831783 to
18001800, before the first convert, Krishnoo, was baptized.
When a few converts are once made, things move on.
But it requires a much longer time than I have been
here, to make a first impression of a heathen people.
If they ask again what prospect of ultimate success is
there? tell them, as much as that there is an Almighty
and faithful God, who will perform his promises, — and
no more. If this does not satisfy them, beg them to
let me stay and make the attempt, and let you come,
and to give us our bread; or, if they are unwilling to
risk their bread on such a forlorn hope, as has nothing
but the word of God to sustain it, beg of them, at
least, not to prevent others from giving us bread.
And if we live some twenty or thirty years, they may
hear from us again.
I have already written many things home about
Rangoon. This climate is good, better than any other
part of the East. But it is a most wretched place.
Missionaries must not calculate on the least comfort,
but what they find in one another, and in their work.
However, if a ship was lying in the river, ready to
convey me to any part of the world I should choose,
and that too with the entire approbation of all my
Christian friends, I should not, for a moment, hesitate
on remaining. This is an immense field; and, since
the Serampore missionaries have left it, it seems
wholly thrown on the hands of the Americans. If we
desert it, the blood of the Burmans will be required of us!
In encouraging young men to come out as missionaries,
do use the greatest caution. One wrongheaded,
conscientiously obstinate man, would ruin us.
Humble, quiet, persevering men; men of sound, D6v 60
sterling talents, of decent accomplishments, and some
natural aptitude to acquire a language; men of an
amiable, yielding temper, willing to take the lowest
place, to be the least of all, and the servant of all;
men who enjoy much closet religion, who live near to
God, and are willing to suffer all things for Christ’s
sake, without being proud of it; — these are the men
we need.”

On the 1816-10-1515th October, 1816, we had the happiness
of welcoming to our lonely habitation, our friends,
Mr. and Mrs. Hough, who were sent out by the same
Board under whose patronage we then were. After a
seclusion from all society for three years, it was no
common gratification to meet again with Christian
friends, from our dear native country. Our missionary
prospects also began to brighten, and to wear a more
encouraging aspect than ever before. Mr. Judson’s
health was much improved; a grammar was prepared
to assist Mr. Hough in the acquirement of the language;
the first tract ever written in Burman, relative
to the true God, was ready for printing, and a press,
types, and printer were at hand to execute it. Mr.
immediately applied to the study of the language,
and, in a very short time, obtained such a
knowledge of the character as enabled him to put in
operation the first printing press ever set up in the
Burman empire.—The following joint letter, from
Messrs. Hough and Judson, was written soon after
the arrival of the former:

It is with peculiar
satisfaction that we are, at length, enabled to address
a letter to the Board, in a joint capacity. We had a
joyful meeting in this place, on the 1816-10-1515th ult. Mr. D7r 61
has settled in one part of the mission house;
and we are now united, both as a church of Christ,
and as a mission society. Our regulations, on the latter
point, we here submit to the Board. It will be
evident, at first sight, that these regulations have a
prospective view, and are framed somewhat differently
from what they would have been, had we not expected
that our number would soon be enlarged. But we
hope the time is not far distant, when they will
receive the signatures of others also.
It is true that one of us remained about three
years in this place, without uttering any Macedonian
cries. But, we apprehend, that the time is now come,
when it is consistent with the strictest prudence to lift
up our voice, and say, Come over the ocean and
help us.
By a residence of three years in this country,
many doubts, which at first occurred, are removed;
and many points concerning the practicability of a
mission, and the prospect of success, are ascertained.
We cannot now enter much into detail; but we desire
to say, that we see the mission established in this land.
We unite in opinion, that a wide door is set open for
the introduction of the religion of Jesus into this
great empire. We have at present no governmental
interdict to encounter, and no greater obstacles than
such as oppose the progress of missionaries in every
heathen land. It appears to us (and may it so appear
to our fathers and brethren) that God, in removing
the English mission from this place, and substituting
in their stead an American mission, is emphatically
calling on the American churches to compassionate
the poor Burmans, and to send their silver, and their D7v 62
gold, and their young men, to this eastern part of the
world, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.
It is with great pleasure that we announce the
valuable present of a press and Burman types, made
us by the Serampore brethren. We are now closingin
a room, for a temporary printing office; and hope,
very soon, to issue a gospel tract, which has been in
readiness some time; and which is intended to give
the heathen around us some idea of the way of salvation
through the Lord Jesus Christ. But we cannot
move one step in the way of printing without money.
We therefore beg an immediate appropriation, not
only to liquidate the expenses already incurred, but to
enable us to proceed in this all-important part of our
work. The accounts of the mission press, we propose
to keep distinct; and they shall be transmitted, together
with the accounts of the mission.
We know not how long the press will be permitted
to remain in Rangoon; we should not, however,
deprecate its removal to Ava. Such a measure
would, doubtless, tend to the furtherance of the cause,
and the introduction of religion into the very heart of
the empire, where Satan’s seat is. But, in this case,
more men, and more money, would be imperiously
demanded; and, we trust, that the patronage of the
Board will not fail in these necessary points. We
desire, humbly, to repeat to the Board, what the first
missionaries from the Baptist Society in England said
to their friends, when on the point of embarkation in
the great work, which seems destined to illuminate
Western India with the light of the gospel: ‘We
said they, ‘like men going down into a well;
you stand at the top, and hold the ropes. Do not let D8r 63
us fall.’
Hold us up, brethren and fathers; and if
health and life be spared us, we hope, through the
grace of God, to see Eastern India also beginning to
participate in the same glorious light. Many years
may intervene in the latter, as well as the former
case; many difficulties and disappointments may try
your faith and ours. But let patience have her perfect
work; let us not be weary of well doing; for, in due
time we shall reap, if we faint not.”

A letter written by Mr. Hough, 1817-02-20February 20th,
, contains some interesting particulars relative to
the mission; and also describes the Burman mode of
burying the priests:

“ I could not, before I came here, form any idea
how my time would be occupied, after I should become
engaged in the work for which I came hither;
and, therefore, made promises to write more, and
oftener, than I fear I shall be able to do. I often think
how happy I should be, could I step into your house,
or you into ours, and spend a few hours in telling you
all my mind; how I feel, and what I want to be done
for these poor Burmans. But while this pleasure is
denied me, there is a hope constantly administering to
my mind a sweet consolation, that we shall see each
other in a better ‘house not made with hands.’ Such
a hope as this I would not exchange for any consideration;
no, not even for the felicity of meeting all my
friends again in this world. Since I have been here,
I have felt, in a good degree, assured that I am in the
path of duty. I am in a work with which my soul is
delighted. My spiritual enjoyments seem much to
have increased, and I am enabled to look forward,
with an increased confidence, to the end of this, and D8v 64
to another existence. I am not, however, free from a
state of uncertainty on the subject of my own salvation;
yet, on self-examination, my heart appears to
have its hold on Divine truth strengthened; and, surrounded
with objects of human kind, in a most lamentable
state of religious debasement, it is impossible for
me not to esteem the precious gospel of the grace of
God, as the richest source of sacred consolation. I
can say truly, I had no idea of a state of heathenism
before I saw it. A warm-hearted Christian in America
would think that a poor miserable idolater would leap
for joy at the message of grace. But it is not so in
Burmah‘Here Satan binds their captive mindsFast in his slavish chains.’
The few with whom brother Judson has conversed,
since I have been here, appear inaccessible to
truth. They sit unaffected, and go away unimpressed
with what they have heard. They are unconvinced by
arguments, and unmoved by love; and the conversion
of a Burman, or even the excitement of a thought
towards the truth, must and will be a sovereign act of
Divine power. We long to see that act of power displayed:
even one instance would fill us with joy.
Brother Judson has never yet been abroad to
preach. He has applied himself constantly to the study
of the language, with a view to the translation of
the —New Testament. We both concur in the opinion,
that, before preaching be undertaken, to any considerable
degree, some portion of the Scriptures should be
in circulation.
The Burmans, when any thing is said to them on
the subject of divine truth, inquire for our holy books; D9r 65
and it is a pleasing fact, that scarcely a Burman, with
the exception of females, is capable of reading.
Besides, during the progress of translation, many theological
terms, appropriate to the different branches
of doctrine, may be familiarly acquired, and their use
established; which, without much consideration,
might be erroneously employed, and thus wrong ideas
conveyed. Having, therefore, press and types here,
we cannot, conscientiously, withhold from this people
the precious oracles of God. This opinion has influenced
us to issue, as soon as preparations could
possibly be made, two small tracts — one a Summary
of Christian Doctrine, and the other a Catechism.
The one I was enabled to print the latter part of the
last, and the other the first of the present month — a
copy of each I send you. By them you will see how
much we need a new fount of types; many of the
letters are almost illegible. These two little tracts are
the first printing ever done in Burmah; and it is a
fact, grateful to every Christian feeling, that God has
reserved the introduction of this art here, for his own
Having been hitherto employed for the most part
of the time in a printing-office, it has been impossible
for me to make those advances towards an attainment
of the language, that I have desired, and that otherwise
would have been the case. While my progress
is necessarily slow in acquiring the language, I am
comforted under the reflection, that my employment
is of that kind which will rather assist, than retard my
advance, and that, without two or three year’s study, I
can be instrumental in conveying the knowledge of
everlasting life to the Burmans. I am now thankful D9v 66
for that Divine direction of my earlier years, which
placed me in my honoured father’s office, to acquire
knowledge of a business, which it was impossible for
me then to imagine would be applied to that use, in
which I hope it is, on the other side of the globe,
amongst the heathen.”

A few extracts from Mr. Hough’s journal will close
this letter:

“When a priest dies, he has peculiar honours paid
him. Several months since, a neighbouring priest
died, or returned, for the Burmans think it undignified
to say that a priest dies; his body was immediately
wrapped up in tar and wax; holes were perforated
through his feet, and some distance up the legs, into
which one end of a hollow bamboo was inserted, and
the other fixed in the ground; the body was then
pressed and squeezed, so that its fluids were forced
down through the legs, and conveyed off by means of
the bamboos; in this state of preservation the body
has been kept. For some days past, preparations
have been making to burn this sacred relic, and to-day
it has passed off in fumigation! We all went to see it,
and returned sorry that we had spent our time to so
little profit. On four wheels was erected a kind of
stage, or tower, about twelve or fifteen feet high,
ornamented with paintings of different colours and
figures, and small mirrors. On the top of this was
constructed a kind of balcony, in which was situated
the coffin, decorated with small pieces of glass, of
different hues, and the corpse, half of which was
visible above the edge of the coffin, entirely covered
with gold leaf. Around the tower and balcony were
fixed several bamboo poles, covered with red cloth, D10r 67
displaying red flags at their ends, and small umbrellas,
glittering with spangles; among which was one larger
than the others, covered with gold leaf, shading the
corpse from the sun. Around the upper part of the
balcony was suspended a curtain of white gauze,
about a cubit in width, the lower edge of which was
hung round with small pieces of isinglass; above the
whole was raised a lofty quadrangular pyramid, graduating
into a spire, constructed in a light manner, of
split bamboo, covered with small figures, cut out of
white cloth, and waving to and fro, for some distance,
in the air. The whole, from the ground to the top of
the spire, might measure fifty feet. This curious
structure, with some living priests upon it, was drawn
half a mile by women and boys, delighted with the
sport, and in the midst of a large concourse of shouting
and joyous spectators. On their arrival at the
place of burning, ropes were attached to the hind end
of the car, and a whimsical sham contest, by adverse
pulling, was for some time maintained, one party
seemingly indicating a reluctance to have the precious
corpse burned. At length, the foremost party prevailed,
and the body must be reduced to ashes! Amidst
this, there were loud shoutings, clapping of hands,
the sound of drums, of tinkling and wind instruments,
and a most disgusting exhibition of female dancing,
but no weeping or wailing. The vehicle was taken
to pieces, the most valuable parts of which were
preserved, and the body consumed.
Although the Burmans have every motive, according
to their system of religion, to practise good
works, yet no people can be worse. Their religious
motives are wholly inadequate to the production of D10v 68
any good, or to maintain private and public morality.
It may be said of the Burman, as of every other pagan
religion, there is no power in it to make men better,
and its best precepts are no criterion, by which to
judge of the moral character of its devotees. The
Burmans are subtle, thievish, mercenary, addicted to
robbery and fraud; truth and honesty are not known
among them as virtues. They are excessively prone
to gambling and sporting.
The government of the country is in the will of the
sovereign, who considers his subjects as slaves: in
short, every person coming into the country reports
himself ‘the king’s most willing slave.’ The viceroy
of Rangoon acts with a power limited only by the
king. He punishes criminals with severity. The
mildest manner of suffering death is to have the head
taken off, which is done with a large knife, and at one
stroke. Reprieves from extreme desert, however, are
often purchased with money; but when a malefactor
is destitute of friends and money, he dies without
For some time past, it has been
discovered that a gang of persons have been digging
under some of the pagodas, to possess themselves of
whatever treasures are deposited beneath them, and a
few days since, four persons were apprehended in the
act. They were condemned to death. One of the
servants came in this afternoon, and informed me he
had been to see them executed.
Brother Judson and myself immediately hastened
to the place. It was a most shocking scene! Four
Burmans were fastened to a high fence, first by the
hair of the head and neck, their arms were then extended D11r 69
horizontally, as far as they could be stretched
without dislocation, and a cord tied tight around
them; their thighs and legs were then tied in their
natural position; they were ripped open from the
lowest to the highest extremity of the stomach, and
their vitals and part of their bowels were hanging out;
large gashes were cut in a downward direction on their
sides and thighs, so as to bare the ribs and thigh
bones: one, who I suppose was more guilty than the
rest, had an iron instrument thrust side-long through
the breast, and part of his vitals pushed out in the
opposite direction. Thus, with the under jaw fallen,
their eyes open and fixed, naked, excepting a small
cloth round the middle, they hung dead.
This afternoon we heard that seven
men were carried to the place of execution. We went
to witness the affecting scene. On our arrival there,
we heard the report of a gun, and looking about, we
saw a man tied to a tree, and six others sitting on the
ground with their hands tied behind them. Observing
the man at the tree, we saw a circular figure painted
on his stomach, about three inches in diameter, for a
mark to shoot at, for he was to die in this way. At
that moment, there was another discharge of a
musket; but the shot again missed; a third and fourth
time he was fired at, but without effect. At every shot
there was a loud peal of laughter from the surrounding
spectators. He was then loosed from the tree, and a
messenger sent to the governor, who returned with a
reprieve. His younger brother, who was one of the
seven, was then tied to the tree. The first shot slightly
touched his arm; the second struck him in the heart,
and he instantly expired; at the same moment, the D11v 70
remaining five, each at one blow, were beheaded. We
saw a man put his foot on one of the trunks, and press
it with as little feeling as one would tread upon a
beast. Their bodies were then dragged along on the
ground a short distance, and their heads taken up by
the hair and removed. The two brothers, when condemned
to die, requested to be shot, asking, at the
same time, to be pardoned if the fourth shot should
miss. The elder brother was therefore spared, while
the fate of the other was more lamentable. The superstitious
Burmans suppose, from the circumstance
of the request of the two brothers, and the escape of
the elder one, that some charm prevented his death.
The crimes of these poor creatures were various. One
had been digging under a pagoda, another had stabbed
a woman, but had not killed her; the others, as nearly
as we can learn, were robbers.
We learnt to-day, that the man
who was yesterday reprieved, has twice before, for his
evil conduct, been carried to the place of execution in
other places, and shot at, six times each, without
being hit. He is now considered to be a wonderful
man, and that a bullet cannot prove him mortal. Being
asked how he became a robber? he replied, because
he had not been made governor, or raised above the
grade of the common people. He is now raised to a
high rank among the governor’s attendants. Thus, my
dear brother, it can be truly said, that Burmans are
politically and morally wretched; but we know the
Lord is able to bring to pass a reformation among
them. Surrounded by such a people, we continually
feel our situation dangerous, and our security is only
in the providence of God. Who would not pity the D12r 71
Burmans, viewing them as described in the above
letter? We feel assured of the continuation of your
prayers for their conversion, and our success.”

I remain, my dear Sir,
Very affectionately and respectfully,

A. H. J.

Letter VI.

My Dear Sir,

I trust you will not be discouraged, and think our
letters tedious, while following us through those years
of darkness. You perceive that our prospects were
gradually brightening; that a vast difference existed
between our circumstances, in the years 18131813 and
18171817, though there had been no real conversions. One
dark cloud, however, was suffered to rise, so threatening
in appearance as nearly to annihilate our most
cherished hopes; yet it proved only the harbinger of
a brighter day. Previously to these gloomy appearances,
a few letters were written, respecting our increasingly
encouraging prospects, which shall here be
inserted. In 1817-03March, 1817, Mr. Judson wrote the following
letter to the Corresponding Secretary of the
Baptist Board of Missions:

“Since the beginning of this year, we have printed
two tracts; the one a view of the Christian religionseven
pages, one thousand copies; the other catechism,
of six pages, 12mo. three thousand copies. D12v 72
After which, finding we had paper sufficient for an
edition of eight hundred copies of St. Matthew, we
concluded to undertake this one gospel, by way of
trial, and as introductory to a larger edition of the
whole —New Testament. I am now translating the
eleventh chapter, and in the printing room the third
half sheet is setting up.

Having premised thus much concerning the
present posture of our affairs, I proceed to mention
the circumstances which induced me to take up my
pen at this time. I have this day been visited by the
first inquirer after religion, that I have seen in Burmah.
For, although in the course of two years, I have
preached the gospel to many, and though some have
visited me several times, and conversed on the subject
of religion; yet I have never had much reason to
believe that their visits originated in a spirit of sincere
inquiry. Conversations on religion have always been
of my proposing; and though I have sometimes been
encouraged to hope that truth had made some impression,
never, until to-day, have I met with one who
was fairly entitled to the epithet of Inquirer.

As I was sitting with my teacher, as usual, a Burman
of respectable appearance, and followed by a
servant, came up to the steps, and sat down by me. I
asked him the usual question, where he came from?
to which he gave me no explicit reply; and I began
to suspect that he had come from the governmenthouse,
to enforce a trifling request, which, in the
morning we had declined. He soon, however, undeceived
and astonished me, by asking, ‘How long a
time will it take me to learn the religion of Jesus?’

I replied, that such a question could not be answered. E1r 73
If God gave light and wisdom, the religion of Jesus
was soon learnt, but without God, a man might study
all his life long, and make no proficiency. But how,
continued I, came you to know any thing of Jesus?
Have you been here before? ‘No.’ Have you seen
any writings concerning Jesus? ‘I have seen two
little books.’
Who is Jesus? ‘He is the Son of God,
who, pitying creatures, came into this world, and suffered
death in their stead.’
Who is God? ‘He is a
Being without beginning or end, who is not subject
to old age or death, but always is.’
I cannot tell how
I felt at this moment. This was the first acknowledgement
of an eternal God, that I had ever heard from
the lips of a Burman. I handed him a tract and
catechism, both of which he instantly recognised, and
read here and there, making occasional remarks to his
follower, such as, ‘This is the true God — this is the
right way,’
&c. I now tried to tell him some things
about God and Christ, and himself; but he did not
listen with much attention, and seemed anxious only
to get another book. I had already told him two or
three times that I had finished no other book; but,
that in two or three months, I would give him a larger
one, which I was now daily employed in translating.

‘But,’ replied he, ‘have you not a little of that book
done, which you will graciously give me now?’
I, beginning to think that God’s time was better than
man’s, folded and gave him the first two half sheets,
which contain the first five chapters of St. Matthew;
on which he instantly rose, as if his business was all
done; and having received an invitation to come
again, took leave. Throughout his short stay, he appeared
different from any Burman I have met with. E E1v 74
He asked no questions about customs and manners,
with which the Burmans teaze us exceedingly. He
had no curiosity, and no desire for any thing, but
‘more of this sort of writing.’ In fine, his conduct
proved that he had something on his mind, and I
cannot but hope that I shall have to write about him
We have not yet seen our inquirer;
but to-day we met with one of his acquaintances, who
says, that he reads our books all the day, and shows
them to all who call upon him. We told him to ask
his friend to come and see us again.
An opportunity occurs of sending
to Bengal. I am sorry that I cannot send home more
interesting letters. But I am not yet in the way of
collecting interesting matter. I have found, that I
could not preach publicly to any advantage, without
being able, at the same time, to put something into
the hands of the hearers. And, in order to qualify
myself to do this, I have found it absolutely necessary
to keep at home, and confine myself to close study,
for three or four years. I hope, however, after
St. Matthew is finished, to make a more public entrance
on my work, than has yet been done. But
many difficulties lie in the way. Our present house is
situated in the woods, away from any neighbours, and
at a distance from any road. In this situation we have
no visitors, and no passing travellers, whom we can
invite to stop and hear of Christ. My attempts to go
out and find auditors, have always occasioned such a
waste of time, and interruption of study, as would
not often be indulged in or justified. We are very desirous
of building a small house near town, on some E2r 75
public road. We wish for further instructions, and
further explanations of the views and intentions of the
Board. The approaching triennial convention, also,
we contemplate with the deepest interest. May God
give abundant wisdom, and zeal, and an outpouring of
his Holy Spirit.

Permit me to close with a word in behalf of
Eastern missions. Great Britain and the United States
appear to be the only countries which can, at present,
take a very active part in missionary concerns. The
British are fully occupied with India, Africa, and the
South Sea Islands. East of the British possessions in
India, are Burmah, Siam, several other Indo-Chinese
nations, the great empire of China, Japan, thence
north, indefinitely, and southward, the numerous
Malayan Isles. With all these countries the British are
no more connected than the Americans. The British
are under no greater obligations to evangelize them
than the Americans. They are not nearer the English,
in point of transportation, than the Americans. And,
furthermore, throughout all these countries, the British
are suspected and feared, but not the Americans.

The idea that the Western continent belongs to the
Americans, and the Eastern continent to the British,
however plausible at first sight, cannot bear a moment’s
examination. I apprehend, that all the northwestern
Indians, and the inhabitants of those parts of
South America, which are accessible, will scarcely outnumber
the inhabitants of this single Empire of Burmah.
And, on what principle can the Americans, who
are perhaps half as numerous as the British, be let off
with one-twentieth, or one-thirtieth part of the work?
But when we apply the work to the Baptists, it is still E2 E2v 76
more decisive. There are about five hundred Baptist
churches in Great Britain, which average about one
hundred members each. There are two thousand in
America, which average nearly the same. Behold
Ireland, also, almost as destitute as South America.
And suppose the British should say, This is the proper
province of our missionary exertions. Let us leave
Asia and Africa to the Americans, and ‘not send our young men to the antipodes.’”

The following letter, dated 1817-08August, 1817, to a young
lady, a friend of mine, who had often encouraged me
in my contemplated undertaking, may not be wholly
destitute of interest:

“ When I left my native country, my dear Mary,
my anguish was mitigated, my tears were dried, by
the consideration that I there left many congenial souls,
who, though prevented accompanying me, would assist
me by their prayers, encourage and animate me by
their letters, and keep alive the missionary spark in
my soul, by their constant assurances that I was not
alone, but at all times aided and supported by them.
It is now four years that we have resided in this
country; and, though no Burman has renounced idolatry
and embraced the religion of Christ, yet the seed
is beginning to be scattered, which may spring up and
bear fruit in some future time. Burmah presents a
field for vast, unbounded usefulness! But neither
revelation, nor the experience of ages, warrants us to
expect immediate success. What nation has changed
its gods in a day? What nation, so far advanced in
civilization as the Burman, has renounced its system
of religion at the first mention of a new one? We
are not to look for miracles; but we are warranted to E3r 77
expect the accomplishment of those ends, which God,
in his wise providence, has connected with a steady,
persevering use of means. We are firmly persuaded
that the country of Burmah will eventually become
Christian — that the way is now preparing, the seed
sowing; but how long before the harvest will be ripe,
we leave for God to determine.

It has been Mr. Judson’s object to get well
grounded in the language, and to do some preparatory
work, for the benefit of future missionaries before he
made a formal disclosure of his design to the king.
We have not, by any means, taken pains to keep our
object secret. On the contrary, we have improved
every opportunity to communicate religious truth to
those Burmans who have visited at the mission house.
This we have considered as the path of present duty.

Since Mr. Hough’s arrival, he has printed a tract
of considerable length, being a view of the Christian
religion, which Mr. Judson had previously composed;
and also a small catechism for children, and St. Matthew’s
gospel. These are in circulation, and are well
understood by those who read them. Many have
called at the mission house, to inquire more particularly
into the new religion. But we have frequently
observed, in these inquirers, a fear lest others should
discover their inclination to inquire. Sometimes, when
two or three intimate friends have been seriously
engaged in conversing on religious subjects, if others,
with whom they were not acquainted, called at the
same time, they would be silent, and take their leave.
This makes us feel the importance of trying to obtain
the patronage of government. In a few months,
Mr. Judson will complete a dictionary of the Burman E3v 78
language; after which, he will, perhaps, go up to
Ava, the residence of the king.

If we were convinced of the importance of missions
before we left our native country, we now see
and feel their importance, as well as their practicability!
We could then picture to ourselves the miserable
situation of heathen nations; but we now see a
whole populous empire, rational and immortal like
ourselves, sunk in the grossest idolatry; given up to
follow the wicked inclinations of their depraved hearts,
entirely destitute of any real principle, or the least
spark of true benevolence. Let those who plead the
native innocence and purity of heathen nations, visit
Burmah. The system of religion here has no power
over the heart, or restraint on the passions. Though
it forbids, on pain of many years’ suffering in hell,
theft, and falsehood, yet I presume to say, there is not
a single Burman in the country, who, if he had a good
opportunity, without danger of detection, would hesitate
to do either. Though the religion inculcates
benevolence, tenderness, forgiveness of injuries, and
love of enemies — though it forbids sensuality, love of
pleasure, and attachment to worldly objects, yet it is
destitute of power to produce the former, or subdue
the latter, in its votaries. In short, the Burman system
of religion is like an alabaster image, perfect and
beautiful in all its parts, but destitute of life. Besides
being destitute of life, it provides no atonement for
sin. Here, also, the gospel triumphs over this and
every other religion in the world. This is the grand
difference — this makes the gospel ‘good news’ indeed,
to the heavy laden and sin-sick soul.
My dear Mary, how precious does Christ appear, E4r 79
when conversing with these Burmans, and how desirous
is one to open their blind eyes, that they may
behold his preciousness! But this is the prerogative
of God alone; and if he has any dear children here,
any chosen ones, whose names are written in the
‘Lamb’s book of life, from the foundation of the
he will open their eyes, he will show them his
glory, he will compel them to come in.
How interested you would be, could you meet
with my little society of females, on the Sabbath.
Interested, I say — yes, you would be interested, if it
were only from this circumstance, that these poor
idolaters enjoy the means of grace, and sit under the
sound of the gospel. I have generally fifteen or
twenty. They are attentive while I read the Scriptures,
and endeavour to teach them about God. One
of them told me, the other day, that she could not
think of giving up a religion which her parents,
grand-parents, &c. &c. had embraced, and accepting
a new one of which they had never heard. I asked
her if she wished to go to hell, because her progenitors
had gone there? She replied, If, with all her
offerings and good works on her head, (speaking in
their idiom,) she must go to hell, then let her go. I
told her, if she went to hell, after having heard of the
Saviour, her very relations would contribute to torment
and upbraid her, for her rejection of that Saviour
of whom they had never heard, and that even she herself
would regret her folly when it was too late. If
I do, said she, I will then cry out to you to be my
intercessor with your God, who will certainly not
refuse you. Another told me, that she did believe in
Christ, and prayed to him every day. I asked her if E4v 80
she also believed in Guaaudama, and prayed to him. She
replied, she worshipped them both. I have several
times had my hopes and expectations raised, by the
apparent seriousness of several females, as Mr. Judson
has in regard to several men; but their goodness has
been like the morning cloud and early dew, which soon
pass away. Four or five children have committed the
catechism to memory, and often repeat it to each other.”

The following letter describes some of the offerings
made by the Burmans at their festivals, and also contains
a description of the celebrated pagoda at Rangoon:

“ Five years have passed away, since I took the last
view of my dear native land; since I bid the last
farewell to our little Bradford circle. But the parting
pangs are not forgotten; the wounds which were then
made, often, to this day, open and bleed afresh. I
now realize what we so often anticipated, the trials
and privations, the pleasures and enjoyments, incident
to the wife of a missionary among the heathen.
I now behold with my eyes that idolatry, infatuation,
and delusion, the very recital of which has so
often affected the hearts, and excited the fervent
prayers of our little society, when surrounding the
social altar for prayer and praise, in our native town.
And I must say, ‘my eye affecteth my heart;’ for I
cannot but weep and mourn over the deluded multitude
who are this day collected in immense crowds, to
offer that homage and adoration to an idol, which is
due to God alone.
This is the season for the great feast of Gaudama.
It commenced yesterday, and is to continue for three
days. It is observed all over the country; but I presume
the multitude collected in this place is much E5r 81
greater than at any other, excepting Ava. Priests and
people come in boats, from a great distance, to worship
at the pagoda in this place, which is supposed to contain
a relic of Gaudama. The viceroy, on these days,
goes out in all the pomp and splendour possible,
dressed and ornamented with all his insignia of office,
attended by the members of government and the common
people. After kneeling and worshipping at the
pagoda, they generally spend the day in amusements,
such as boxing, dancing, singing, theatrical exhibitions,
and fire-works. Most of the older people spend
the night at the pagoda, and listen to the instructions
of the priests.
Great and expensive offerings are made at this
season. One last year, presented by a member of
government, cost three thousand ticals, or twelve
hundred dollars. It was a kind of portable pagoda,
made of bamboo and paper, richly ornamented with
gold leaf and paintings. It was a hundred feet in
height, and the circumference of its base about fifty.
Half way up its height, was a man ludicrously dressed,
with a mask on his face, white wings on his shoulders,
and artificial finger nails, two inches in length, in the
posture of dancing. This offering was carried by
sixty men, preceded by a band of music, and followed
by the officer who made it, and his suite. Other offerings
presented at this festival are various kinds of artificial
trees, the branches and twigs of which are filled
with cups, bowls, handkerchiefs, and garments of all
descriptions; these are given to the slaves attached to
the pagoda, who, the week following, have something
like a fair to dispose of their offerings.
The pagoda, to which such multitudes resort, is E5 E5v 82
one of the largest and most splendid in the empire.
To give an accurate description of this noble edifice,
requires an abler pen than mine; and perhaps a better
one, of its construction and dimensions, cannot be
given, than that which has already been presented to
the public by Colonel Symes, of a similar pagoda at
Pegue. The beauty and variety of its appendages,
however, are far superior. After having ascended the
flight of steps, a large gate opens, when a wild, fairy
scene is abruptly presented to view. It resembles
more the descriptions we sometimes have in novels, of
enchanted castles, or ancient abbeys in ruins, than any
thing we ever meet in real life. The ground is completely
covered with a variety of ludicrous objects,
which meet the eye in every direction, interspersed
with the banyan, cocoa-nut and toddy trees. Here
and there are large open buildings, containing huge
images of Gaudama; some in a sitting, some in a
sleeping position, surrounded by images of priests and
attendants, in the act of worship, or listening to his
instructions. Before the image of Gaudama, are
erected small altars, on which offerings of fruit,
flowers, &c. are laid. Large images of elephants,
lions, angels and demons, together with a number of
indescribable objects, assist in filling the picturesque
The ground on which this pagoda is situated, commands
a view of the surrounding country, which presents
one of the most beautiful landscapes in nature.
The polished spires of the pagodas, glistening among
the trees at a distance, appear like the steeples of
meeting-houses in our American sea-ports. The verdant
appearance of the country, the hills and valleys, E6r 83
ponds and rivers, the banks of which are covered with
cattle, and fields of rice; each, in their turn, attract
the eye, and cause the beholder to exclaim, ‘Was this
delightful country made to be the residence of idolaters?
Are those glittering spires, which in consequence
of association of ideas, recal to mind so many animating
sensations, but the monuments of idolatry?’

O, my friend! scenes like these, productive of feelings
so various and opposite, do, notwithstanding, fire the
soul with an unconquerable desire to make an effort to
rescue this people from destruction, and lead them to
the Rock that is higher than they. We feel strongly
encouraged to hope, (though our present prospects are
not very flattering,) through the prayers and intercessions
of our dear American friends, that this rural,
this delightful country, will one day be inhabited by
the friends of Jesus; and that houses will be raised
for his worship, on the ruins of these idolatrous monuments.”

I remain, my dear Sir,
Very affectionately and respectfully,

A. H. J.

Letter VII.

My Dear Sir,

Thus far had the mission advanced, thus encouraging
were our prospects, when the combination of a variety
of circumstances induced Mr. Judson to take a voyage
to sea. A tract, catechism, and St. Matthew’s gospel, E6v 84
were printed in the Burman language, and had begun
to be in circulation. Mr. Judson was now desirous to
commence, in a more public manner than ever before,
the preaching of the gospel; at the same time he felt
the importance of making a beginning in a way the
least calculated to excite the predjudices of the natives.

“He had heard of the conversion of several Arrakanese,
who were residing in Chittagong, a port belonging
to the government of the Honourable East
India Company
, and which is only ten days sail from
Rangoon. To obtain one of these native converts,
who spoke the Burman language, to assist in his first
public communications, and to improve his health,
which was evidently on the decline, were two principal
objects Mr. Judson had in view, in embarking
for Chittagong, in a vessel which was expected to return

For the first two months after his departure, the
mission remained much in the same state. Some interesting
events occurred, as stated in the following
letter to the Rev. Dr. Baldwin:

Yours of 1817-03-28March 28th, together
with magazines, &c. I had the pleasure of receiving a
month ago; and, as Mr. Judson is absent, and a good
opportunity of sending to Bengal offers, I cannot deny
myself the gratification of writing. Mr. Judson embarked
for Chittagong, five weeks ago, and expects to
be absent three months only.

The mission is nearly in the same state as when
Mr. Judson last wrote. His dictionary was nearly
completed, after which he intended, either to go to
Ava, or to commence preaching in a more public manner
than ever before. Our hopes have frequently been E7r 85
raised by the serious appearance of some of the Burmans,
but none have yet heartily embraced the religion
of Jesus, and become his disciples. My little female
meeting is still encouraging; between twenty and
thirty attend every Sabbath. They sometimes hear
with apparent attention, sometimes ask pertinent questions,
and some of them say they worship the true
God only, and have left off going to the pagodas to
worship. But how much truth there is in these assertions
time alone will determine.

Last Sabbath, after reading and conversing as
usual, I told them of the anxiety of Christians in America
for their conversion, of the formation of societies,
the contributions of the poor, and the earnest and fervent
prayers, which were continually ascending on
their account. The tears came into the eyes of some
of them, who feelingly said, ‘And do they indeed do
so much for us?’
But the Burmans, in general, ‘are
mad on their idols;’
they are not, like professed Christians
in America, partly engaged in religion, and partly
in the world; but their whole souls seem engaged in
idolatry; they evidence at once that they believe what
they assert. Even at this moment, while writing, my
ears are almost stunned with the noise and confusion
occasioned by preparations for fire-works, to be exhibited
at the approaching festival. Could you, my
dear sir, witness but once this annual feast; could you
behold the crowded streets, the splendid offerings, the
gay attire, and the enthusiasm of their devotions, you
would readily admit, that nothing short of an Almighty
arm, could break down these barriers, these strong barriers,
and cause the introduction of the gospel. But even
these seasons, these momentary triumphs of Satan, are E7v 86
not destitute of advantages to the cause of Christ. We
have opportunities, by these means, of distributing tracts
and portions of scripture, among those who come from
distant towns and villages, where the name of Christ
is still unknown. The Spirit of God may water seed
sown in this way, and cause it to spring up, to the
eternal confusion of the adversary of souls, who induced
their attendance on this festival with a different
We still live in a quiet manner, unmolested by
government, or robbers. The viceroy’s family treat
us with respect and affection, now and then sending
us an elephant, to accompany them in their excursions.
Her highness, the vicereine, professes a particular regard
for me, and I, in return, have presented her with
a translation of St. Matthew’s gospel, a tract, and catechism,
and have had two or three opportunities of
conversing with her privately on the subject of religion.
How much she reads in the former, or believes
in the latter, I am unable to say; but neither
produce any visible effects. She ordered the instructress
of one of her daughters, to give the catechism
to her child to commit to memory.
The Burman, Mr. Judson mentioned
some time ago, as being the first serious inquirer,
and the one who has excited the most hope,
came to-day to the mission-house.

It is now almost a year since he first came, and
with much apparent anxiety inquired, ‘How long time
will it take me to learn the religion of Jesus?’
have since frequently inquired, but obtained little information
respecting him, until to-day. Soon after his
first visit, he was appointed governor of a cluster of E8r 87
villages, situated on the Syriam river in the country
of Pegue. He has been at Rangoon but once since,
and then on business by order of the viceroy, and
obliged to return immediately.
I asked him if he had become a disciple of Jesus
? He replied, ‘I have not yet, but I am thinking
and reading in order to become one. I cannot yet
destroy my old mind; for when I see a handsome
patso, (a cloth the Burman men wear,) or a handsome
gownbown, (the handkerchief worn on the head,) I
still desire it. Tell the great teacher, when he returns,
that I wish to see him, though I am not a disciple
of Christ.’
He requested the remaining part of
St. Matthew’s gospel, also catechisms and tracts for
his followers. I gave all of his attendants tracts; on
which he said to them, ‘Take and read them attentively,
and when you have embraced the doctrines they
contain, come here and converse with the teacher.’

I asked the number of inhabitants in the villages he
governed, and whether he would collect them together
to hear the gospel, should Mr. Judson make him a
visit on his return. He said there were about a
thousand houses, and the inhabitants were Talings,
(natives of Pegue, who speak a language different
from the Burmans,) but he would receive a visit from
Mr. Judson as a great favour, and would call his
people together to hear him preach. There was something
so interesting and encouraging in the appearance
of this Burman, so meek and unassuming, considering
the dignity of his office, that hopes are again raised
concerning him. But whether he will continue to
examine the Christian religion, and finally become a
true disciple, or the reverse, time alone will determine.”
E8v 88

The following letter was written to
Mrs. C.:

“ It is now four long years and a half, since we took
up our residence in this spiritually benighted land, and
to this day do we offer our thanks to God, for having
brought and continued us here. To this day can we
testify that God is good; that he is a faithful, covenant-keeping
God, who is worthy of the entire trust
and confidence of all his creatures. Never, for a
moment, has he left us to feel, that our first views of
the practicability of missions, were visionary; consequently,
we have been preserved from those distressing,
agonizing feelings, resulting from regret and disappointment
in a darling enterprise. On the contrary,
we feel that missions to the heathens are not only
practicable, but the very blood of their souls will be
required at the hand of those Christians, who neglect
to make exertions to send the gospel among them.
This is all that is required of the Christian world.
God will not call us to an account for not converting
the heathen. This, this is the work he reserves for
himself. But he will call us to an account for not using
the means
; this part of the work he has assigned to
his creatures to perform. Neither have we any reason
to be discouraged, because the first communications
of Divine truth have not been efficacious. It would
be almost a miracle, for these Burmans to throw away
a system of religion which they have been accustomed
to consider sacred, from time immemorial, on the
very first intimation of its being false, or on the first
intelligence that there is another and a better. They
must have time to examine, to read our sacred writings,
and to see the effect our religion produces on its E9r 89
professors, before they will feel inclined to embrace
the humbling doctrines of the gospel. They do not
feel themselves in such a wretched, perishing situation,
as we view them, consequently they do not see the
necessity of embracing the offers presented.
We hope our friends and patrons will not be discouraged,
because no one of the Burmans who has
heard the gospel, has embraced it; but continue to
strengthen and encourage us by their prayers and communications,
and in time, we doubt not, they, with us,
will reap an abundant harvest.
We are anxiously looking for the arrival of the
missionaries, who, we hope, have long since left
America. God grant that they may prove true missionaries
of the cross, prepared and willing to suffer
whatever may await them.
We consider the circumstance, that other missionaries
should have their hearts turned toward the
Burman Empire, as an indication of God to strengthen
and establish this mission, and a prelude of his more
merciful intentions, to turn the Burmans from idolatry,
to serve the living God.
Mr. Judson is absent, or he would write to Mr. C.
You will readily imagine my situation to be very
lonely in his absence. Nothing but a sense of duty
could have induced me to consent to his departure.
Mr. Hough, however, is very kind, and affords me
every assistance in his power.”

About the same date as the preceding letter, Mr.
, to a friend in Boston, wrote thus:

“ When I think how dependent I am on God; how
easy it is for him to withdraw the light of his countenance
from me, and leave me cheerless, amidst the E9v 90
darkness of pagan ignorance; and then, again, how
easy it is for him to enable me to persevere, and that
he will answer prayers offered for blessings; I cannot
but receive, with the liveliest gratitude, the assurance
you give me, that I am remembered in the prayers of
my brethren at home; and I sometimes think their
prayers may be heard for me, when my own are
It seems you have entertained some hopes from a
contest, which existed some time ago, between the
king and priests of Burmah. That has terminated,
not to the disadvantage of the one, nor the advantage
of the other. The king persecuted them as long as
he pleased, and then let them alone; they now quietly
perform their functions, which consist principally in
committing to memory their religious books, and patrolling
the streets to receive the willing offerings of
the people, which afford them subsistence. They,
with the religion of the country, appear to be now in
a prosperous state, though I believe the king is not
very friendly to either. Should he exterminate the
priesthood, I have no idea that the ministers of the
gospel would become a substitute; or, should he
abolish the present system of religion, that he would
do it in favour of Christianity. The ears of the
poor old man have never heard the joyful news, and
the law of nature requires that he should soon pass
into eternity. The heir apparent is, I understand, a
mild prince. His accession to the throne, on the
king’s demise, will undoubtedly be attended with difficulties,
and perhaps tracked with blood. Should he
finally succeed, and the country remain at peace any
length of time, He, by whom kings rule, may in his E10r 91
providence open a wide door, which no man can shut,
for the admission of the word of life. It is also quite
as possible, that much affliction and trouble await us.
It is more than six months since I finished printing
St. Matthew, and more than that since the tract was
put into circulation. To say that none read, none inquire,
would be wrong; many do both; and, we are
entitled to hope, because truth is in circulation. Since
printing St. Matthew, I have been studying the language,
but have not yet been able to penetrate far
into it. I have but a glimpse of its genius and construction.
The attainment of this language, I am
persuaded, is the labour of years; and I sometimes
think it folly for one past thirty years of age, to attempt
I was happy to hear, that the missionaries who
are now coming here are so young. I wish they
were five years younger: or rather, I wish some
pious, active boys, sixteen or seventeen years of age,
of unquestionable conversion, and willing to give
themselves up wholly to God, would come over here,
and begin upon the language. You may think this a
strange wish. I think so too; but it is not a hasty or
inconsiderate one.”

In the order of events, I must now, my dear Sir,
give you a particular description of that dark period,
when the Burman mission, surrounded undoubtedly
by invisible enemies, seemed on the very verge of
destruction. Three months of Mr. Judson’s absence
had nearly expired, and we had begun to look for his
return, when a native boat arrived, twelve days from
Chittagong, bringing the distressing intelligence that
neither Mr. J. nor the vessel had been heard of at that E10v 92
port. I should not have given so much credit to this
report, as to have allowed it to harass my feelings,
had it not been corroborated by communications from
my friends in Bengal, which arrived just at this
time. From the circumstance that the vessel had not
reached the port of destination, I knew not what conclusion
to draw. Hope, at times, suggested the idea,
that the ship’s course might have been altered, that
she might yet be safe; but despondency more frequently
strove to convince that all was lost. Thus
was I, for four months, in that agonizing state of
suspense, which is frequently more oppressive than
the most dreadful certainty.

Two or three days after the arrival of the above
intelligence, Mr. Hough received an order, couched
in the most menacing language, to appear immediately
at the court-house, to give an account of himself.
This, so unlike any message we had ever before received
from government, spread consternation and
alarm among our teachers, domestics, and adherents;
some of whom followed Mr. Hough at a distance, and
heard the appalling words, from some of the petty
officers, that a royal order had arrived, for the banishment
of all foreign teachers. As it was late when
Mr. Hough arrived at the court-house, he was merely
ordered to give security for his appearance, at an early
hour on the approaching day, when, to use their own
unfeeling language, “if he did not tell all the truth
relative to his situation in the country, they would
write with his heart’s blood.”

Our embarassments, at this period, were greatly
increased by the circumstance, that the viceroy and
his family, who had always been our steady friends, E11r 93
had been recently recalled to Ava; and the present
viceroy, with whom we had but a slight acquaintance,
had left his family at the capital. Mr. Hough was not
sufficiently acquainted with the language, to allow of
his appealing in person to the viceroy, and as it is not
customary for females to appear at his court, in the
absence of the vicereine, we had nothing before us,
but the gloomy prospect of being obliged to submit
to all those evils, in the power of petty officers to
inflict, upon those unprotected by higher authority.

The following days, Friday and Saturday, Mr.
was detained at the court-house, and under the
necessity of answering through an interpreter, the
most trivial questions; such as, what were the names
of his parents, how many suits of clothes he had, &c.
all which were written down in the most formal manner
imaginable. The court would not allow him to
retire for any refreshment; and this, together with
several other petty grievances, convinced us that it
was their object to harrass and distress us, as much as
possible; feeling safe in the idea that circumstances
were such that we could not appeal to the viceroy.
Sunday morning arrived, another message was received
from the court-house, (the viceroy does not
usually attend those courts, as cases of importance are
submitted privately for his decision,) for Mr. Hough’s
appearance, that the examination might be continued.
The court has now pushed the matter too far, and we
resolved to ascertain whether those orders for examination
emanated from the viceroy, or whether he was
entirely ignorant of the whole matter. My teacher,
coming in just at that time, drew up a respectful petition,
stating the grievances to which Mr. Hough had E11v 94
been subjected, and the present order for his appearing
in public on our sacred day — and requesting that
it might be the pleasure of his highness that those
molestations should cease. Mr. Hough readily accompanied
me to the government-house; and when we
had reached the outer court, I caught the eye of the
viceroy, who sat surrounded by the officers of his
court, but who recognized me, and, in a very condescending
manner, called me “to come in and make
known my request.”
I presented my petition to one
of the secretaries, who was immediately ordered to
read it; at the conclusion of which, the viceroy inquired,
in an austere manner, of the very officer who
had been most forward in making Mr. Hough’s situation
unpleasant at the court-house, and who happened
now to be seated not far from the “voice which issues
life of death,”
“Why the examination of this foreign
had been thus prolonged?”
— at the same time
giving a written order that Mr. Hough should not be
called on his “sacred day,” and that he should be
molested no more. The petty officers of government
now saw their plan defeated, which probably was, to
make Mr. Hough feel himself in their power, thinking
he would then offer them a large reward to be
liberated. We, however, ascertained the fact, that a
royal order had arrived, for the banishment of all the
Portuguese priests in the country (there were three
only). To ascertain who they were, the viceroy had
issued an order that all the foreign priests should be
summoned to the court-house, not intending that any
but the Portuguese should undergo an examination,
farther than to ascertain that they were not Portuguese.

E12r 95

About this time the cholera began to rage among
the native population. This disorder had never been
known in the Empire before, and the dreadful ravages
made in Rangoon filled every one with terror and
alarm. It was in the midst of the hottest season of
the year, and there was no prospect of the disorder
subsiding until the commencement of the rains. The
beating of the death drum, and other instruments used
at funerals, sounded all the day long, a melancholy
dirge in our ears, and, in emphatic language, said,
“Be ye also ready.” We had no reason for supposing
that we should escape this fatal disorder, more than
others; at the same time, we knew ourselves to be in
the hands of him who had said, “A thousand shall
fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand;
but it shall not come nigh thee.”
And thus it proved;
for not an individual within our enclosure suffered
from the cholera, though our neighbours died around
us. The Burmans attempted to account for the origin
of this disease, by supposing that some evil spirits
had entered the city, and were continually traversing
the streets, and from pure maliciousness, destroying
the inhabitants. The natives resolved on endeavouring
to dispossess them, by making a most tremendous
noise, which, in the opinion of a Burman, was sufficient
to alarm evil spirits, however malicious or obstinate.
The signal for commencement was given at
the court-house, by firing cannons; when immediately
every Burman in town began beating on his house
with clubs, or any thing which would make a noise.
No one ventured to remain inactive, as it had previously
been asserted, that the evil spirits would enter
the houses of those who made no noise. This was E12v 96
continued for three successive nights; but notwithstanding
the unheard-of uproar, the evil spirits refused
to move, and the disorder continued to rage for
months afterwards.

Our trials and dangers were not a little increased at
this period, by a report in circulation, that difficulties
existed between the English and the Burman governments;
and that an attempt would be soon made by
the English to take the country. This report seemed
confirmed by the circumstance, that there had been
no arrivals from any English port for some months
past, and that the few remaining captains were making
every possible effort to hasten the departure of their
ships. Should actual hostilities commence, we were
well aware the removal of the mission, at least for a
time, would be the consequence. The only remaining
ship was now on the eve of departure, and unless we
embraced this opportunity for leaving the country,
there was nothing before us but dangers the most
appalling. For a particular account of the remaining
part of this distressing season, I must have recourse
to my journal, then transmitted to America.

I am still, my dear parents, in the
same lonely situation as when I last wrote, full of
anxiety and suspense. I know not what conclusion to
draw from the circumstance of receiving no intelligence
from Mr. Judson. It is now six months since
he left me, and not a single line has ever been received
relative to the ship. I hardly know what prevents
my entire discouragement under such circumstances.
But I am trying to bear this state of uncertainty,
as a heavy affliction, a painful chastisement,
from my heavenly Father, inflicted, no doubt, for wise F1r 97
and gracious purposes. Perhaps it is only a prelude
to greater afflictions. Perhaps this is the school in
which I am to be taught the rudiments of suffering,
and to prepare for those heavy trials, which, without
these first lessons, crush as soon as inflicted. I feel,
however, a dreadful conflict; sometimes inclined to
complain of these dark dispensations of Providence,
at others, endeavouring to make this language my
own, ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him.’
My female meetings have been on the decline ever
since Mr. Hough’s examination at the court-house.
Formerly, upwards of thirty attended; now, seldom
more than ten or twelve. Thus, you see that nothing
but darkness, gloom, and disappointment surround
me. I endeavour to study, at least part of the day,
for unless I do my duty, I fear I shall lose the benefit
of this affliction.
Mr. Hough, for some time past, has
been desirous to have Mrs. H., myself, and his children,
go to Bengal. But I have ever felt resolved not
to make any movement until I hear from Mr. Judson.
Within a few days, however, some circumstances have
occurred, which have induced me to make preparations
for a voyage. There is but one remaining ship
in the river; and if an embargo is laid on English
ships, it will be impossible for Mr. J. (if he is yet
alive), to return to this place. But the uncertainty of
meeting him in Bengal, and the possibility of his arriving
in my absence, cause me to make preparations
with a heavy heart. Sometimes I feel inclined to remain
here alone, and hazard the consequence. I should
certainly conclude on this step, if any probability
existed of Mr. Judson’s return. This mission has F F1v 98
never appeared in so low a state as at the present
time. It seems now entirely destroyed, as we all expect
to embark for Bengal in a day or two. Alas!
alas! how changed our prospects since Mr. J. left us.
How dark, how intricate the providence which now
surrounds us! Yet it becomes us to be still, and
know that He is God who has thus ordered our circumstances.
Alone, my dear friends, in this great
house, without an individual, excepting my little girl
and Burmans, I take my pen to relate the strange
vicissitudes through which I have passed within a few
days. Although I commence my relation by saying I
am alone, yet I am easy and tranquil, because I am
resolved on a course which may appear to you and
others, rash and presumptuous, but to me the path of
duty, and the one I ought to pursue.
On the 1818-07-055th of this month, I embarked with Mr.
and his family for Bengal, having previously
disposed of what I could not take with me. I had
engaged Mr. Judson’s teacher to accompany me, that
in case of meeting him in Bengal, he might go on with
his Burman studies. But the teacher, fearing the difficulties
arising from his being a Burman, broke his engagement,
and refused to go. My disinclination to
proceed in the course commenced had increased to
such a degree, that I was on the point of giving up
the voyage myself; but my passage was paid, my baggage
on board, and I knew not how to separate myself
from the rest of the mission family. The vessel,
however, was several days in going down the river;
and when on the point of putting our to sea, the captain
and officers ascertained that she was in a dangerous F2r 99
state, in consequence of having been improperly
loaded, and that she must be detained for a day or two
at the place in which she then lay. I immediately resolved
on giving up the voyage, and returning to town.
Accordingly the captain sent up a boat with me, and
engaged to forward my baggage the next day. I
reached town in the evening, spent the night at the
house of the only remaining Englishman in the place,
and to-day have come out to the mission-house, to the
great joy of all the Burmans left on our premises.
Mr. Hough and his family will proceed; and they
kindly and affectionately urge my return. I know I
am surrounded by dangers on every hand, and expect
to feel much anxiety and distress; but at present I
am tranquil, intend to make an effort to pursue my
studies as formerly, and leave the event with God.
How distressed, my dear parents, you would feel, did
you know my real situation in Rangoon! But, before
you receive this, there will no doubt be some change,
I hope favourable, as but one circumstance could make
it more distressing.
The vessel, in which Mr. Judson sailed,
has this day arrived! I have been to see the captain,
who informs me that he was not able to make Chitagong,
and that, after being tossed about in the bay for
three months, he made Masulipatam, a port north of
Madras, on the coast. Mr. J. left the ship immediately,
for Madras, hoping to find a passage thence to this
place. This is all the intelligence I have obtained, as
it is four months since an arrival either from Bengal
or Madras. But even this has afforded me a little relief,
as I have hitherto had reason to fear, that the ship
and all were lost, though I am still in a state of suspense,F2 F2v 100
relative to Mr. J’s return. There is not however,
so much reason to suppose that hostilities between
the English and Burman governments will immediately
commence, as this ship came direct from an
English port. This circumstance will render my stay
here, alone, much less dangerous, and perhaps before
many days, Mr. J. will arrive, when I shall see very
clearly the hand of Providence in my leaving the ship.
Mr. and Mrs. Hough have returned to
the mission-house, the ship not being able able to proceed
for some weeks, so that I shall not be obliged to remain
in this place alone, as I expected; and I am hoping
and praying, that previously to their departure, Mr.
may arrive, that I may not under the necessity
of living in this dreadful country, and out here
in the woods, without a friend and protector. I am
hoping against hope, for it is the general opinion of
all foreigners here, that there will be no arrival at
present, from any English settlement. There is,
however, a vague report, though I know not its origin,
that a ship left Madras some time since for this place,
but was to touch at the Nicobar islands; on which
account, she has not yet arrived. I cling to this, as
my last hope, which a little relieves my distressed,
anguished mind. O, how it would sooth my feelings,
how it would comfort my heart, could I unite with
some of my dear American friends in social prayer!
How it would mitigate the gloom and loneliness of
my situation, were some of them present to strengthen
my confidence in Jehovah; to suggest motives for
my patiently bearing affliction; and to urge my quietly
acquiescing in the wise dispensations of the best
of Beings!
F3r 101 I have again commenced my studies, and keep myself
closely engaged until two o’clock. This I find
the best method to avoid dejection; besides, my conscience
will not permit me to sit idly down, and yield
to those desponding feelings, in which a Christian
should not indulge.
How will you rejoice with me, my
dear parents, when I tell you, that I have this moment
heard that Mr. Judson has arrived at the mouth of the
river? This joyful intelligence more than compensates
for the months of dejection and distress which his
long absence has occasioned. Now, I feel ashamed
of my repinings, my want of confidence in God, and
resignation to his will. I have foolishly thought, because
my trials were protracted; they would never
end; or rather, that they would terminate in some
dreadful event, which would destroy all hope of the
final success of the mission. But now, I trust, our
prospects will again brighten, and cause us to forget
this night of affliction, or to remember it as having
been the means of preparing us for the reception of
that greatest of blessings — the conversion of some of
the Burmans.”

I remain, my dear Sir,
Very affectionately and respectfully,

A. H. J.

Letter VIII.

My Dear Sir,

My last gave you a relation of the trying scenes
through which we passed at Rangoon, during the absence F3v 102
of Mr. Judson. His trials were no less severe,
as you will perceive from the following letters to the
Corresponding Secretary of the Board:

In former letters I have
stated my circumstances, at the close of last year, and
the reasons whisch induced me to leave Rangoon, on a
visit to Chittagong: particularly the prospect of a
direct passage, and speedy return in the same ship, an
opportunity of very rare occurrence in Rangoon.
Since that time, a series of unexpected providences
have befallen me, which, though uninteresting in detail,
must be briefly mentioned, in order to account for
my present situation.
When we left Rangoon, 1817-12-25December 25th, we expected
a passage of ten or twelve days. At the expiration
of a month, however, by reason of contrary
winds, and the unmanageableness of the ship, in the
difficult navigation along the coast, we found ourselves
still at a great distance from port; and the season
being so far advanced, as to deprive us of the hope of
more favourable winds, the captain and supercargo
agreed on a change of the ship’s destination, and made
sail for Madras.
Previous to leaving the coast, we put into Cheduba,
a place under Burman government, for a supply of
provisions. I was unable to go ashore, but took the
opportunity of sending a tract by the boat. It happened
to be conveyed directly to the governor, and he
ordered it to be read in his presence. Soon after, when
our captain had an audience, the governor inquired
after the writer of the tract: who he was, and how
long he had been in the country. The captain evaded
some questions, for fear of detention, I suppose, and F4r 103
merely stated that the writer was a foreigner, who had
resided in Rangoon about four years. ‘No,’ replied the
governor, ‘that is not to be credited. You cannot make
me believe that a foreigner, in so short a time, has
learned to write the language so well. It must have
been written by some other person.’
The captain
related this to me on his return. I felt particularly
gratified by this testimony to the perspecuity of the
style, and thought it not unworthy of mentioning,
because it could not be suspected, as others which
had been made to me personally, of having been a
mere compliment.
The ship’s destination was changed on the 1818-01-2626th
of January
. We retraced our course for a few days,
and then stood to the westward. It was with the most
bitter feelings, that I witnessed the entire failure of
my undertakings, and saw the summits of the mountains
of Arracan, the last indexes of my country,
sinking in the horizon, and the ship stretching away
to a distant part of India, which I had no wish to
visit, and where I had no object to obtain. It was,
however, some mitigation of my disappointment, that
I should, in all probability, be able to return to Rangoon,
and resume my missionary business, much earlier
than if I had visited Chittagong. But even the
consolation of this hope was not long allowed me.
We had, indeed, a quick passage across the bay; but,
on drawing near the Coromandel coast, the wind and
current combined to prevent our further progress, and
at the expiration of another month, having for a long
time subsisted on nothing scarcely but rice and water,
and being now reduced to very short allowance, we
concluded to make sail for Masulipatam, a port north F4v 104
of Madras, which we doubted not we should be able
to reach in a very few days. In this, again, we were
disappointed, and through the unmanageableness of
the ship, or the mismanagement of the captain, were
detained at sea nearly another month. During this
period, we were sometimes in great distress, deeming
ourselves very fortunate when able to get a bag of
rice, or a few buckets of water, from any native vessel
which happened to pass. Once we sent the long boat
to the shore, and obtained a considerable supply of
water, which was a great relief. But of rice we could
obtain no sufficient supply, and all other articles of
provision were quite out of the question.
The low state to which I was at length reduced,
occasioned a partial return of the disorder of my head
and eyes, to which I was subject two years ago. This,
with other circumstances united, left me no other
source of consolation but resignation to the will of
God, and an unreserved surrender of all to his care;
and, praised be his name, I found more consolation
and happiness in communion with God, and in the enjoyments
of religion, than I had ever found, in more
prosperous circumstances!
Finally we did reach Masulipatam, and I left the
ship on the 1818-03-1818th of March, twelve weeks after embarking
at Rangoon. I waited at Masuly a few days
until it was ascertained that the ship would unlade her
cargo, and remain several months. And as there was
no prospect that season of reaching Madras by sea,
the only port on the coast where I could hope to find
a vessel bound to Rangoon, I was under the necessity
of taking a journey by land: distance about three
hundred miles. I accordingly hired a palanquin and F5r 105
bearers, and arrived here on the 1818-04-088th of April. My
first aim was of course, the beach, and my first inquiry,
a vessel bound to Rangoon. But my chapter
of disappointment was not yet finished. No vessel
had sailed for Rangoon this year; and such, it was
understood, was the unsettled state of the Burman
country, that none would probably venture for some
time to come.

Here I have remained ever since, under very trying
circumstances. I have scarcely heard from Rangoon
since I left, or been able to transmit any intelligence
thither, by a conveyance to be depended on. The
weakness of my eyes prevents my application to study,
or attempt at any exertion. I am making no progress
in missionary work. I am distressed by the appalling
recollection of the various business which was pressing
on me at Rangoon, and which made me very reluctant
to leave home for the shortest time. Now, I
have been detained twice as long as I had anticipated,
and have, withal, wholly failed in my undertaking.
Where, my rebellious heart is ready to cry, where is
the wisdom of all this? But it is wise, though blindness
cannot apprehend. It is best, though unbelief
is disposed to murmur. Be still, my soul, and know
He is God.
My last was dated
Madras, 1818-05-28May 28, 1818. At that place I remained
waiting for a conveyance to Rangoon, until the 1818-07-2020th of
, when I took passage on board an English vessel.
During my stay at Madras, I experienced great kindness
and hospitality in the families of the Rev. Mr.
, chaplain, and the Rev. Mr. Loveless
missionary; and received such proofs of Christian F5 F5v 106
affection from many dear friends, as rendered parting
with them very painful, though my detention in Madras
had, in other respects, been almost insupportable.
We anchored at the mouth of Rangoon river, on the
--08-2020th of August. The next morning, when the pilot
came on board, I was overwhelmed with the intelligence,
that, on account of the dangerous situation
of affairs, the mission had been broken up, and that
Mr. Hough and his family, and Mrs. Judson, had taken
passage for Bengal. To my great relief, however, it
was added, that, before the ship left the river, Mrs.
reluctance to leave the place had so increased,
as to force her back to the mission-house alone; and
further, that the ship being found unfit for sea, was
still detained.
The examination which brother Hough sustained,
during my absence, and the persecution of the Roman
Catholic padres, have made us feel more deeply than
ever, the precarious situation of this mission, and the
necessity of proceeding with the utmost caution. It
was only through the favour of the viceroy, that the
padres were allowed to remain here, when they arrived
from Ava, under sentence of banishment. And it is
only through his mediation, and the influence of large
presents made to the king, that the order of banishments
is reversed, if indeed it be reversed, a report not
yet confirmed. One malicious intimation to the king
would occasion our banishment; and banishment, as
the Burmans tell us, is no small thing, — being attended
with confiscation of all property, and such
various abuses, as would make us deem ourselves
happy to escape with our lives.
Such a situation may appear somewhat alarming F6r 107
to a person accustomed to the liberty and safety of a
free government. But, let us remember, that it has
been the lot of the greater part of mankind to live
under a despotic government, devoid of all security
for life or property a single moment. Let us remember,
that the Son of God chose to become incarnate
under the most unprincipled and cruel despot
that ever reigned. And shall any disciple of Christ
refuse to do a little service for his Saviour, under a
government where his Saviour would not have refused
to live and die for his soul? God forbid. Yet faith is
sometimes weak — flesh and blood sometimes repine.
O, for grace to strengthen faith, to animate hope, to
elevate affection, to embolden the soul, to enable us to
look danger and death in the face! Still more, to behold,
without repining, those most dear us suffering
fears and pains, which we would gladly have redoubled
on ourselves, if it would exonerate them.
We feel encouraged by the thought, that many of
the dear children of God remember us at the mercy
seat. To your prayers I desire once more to commend
myself, the weakest, the most unqualified, the
most unworthy, and the most unsuccessful of all missionaries.”

In four or five weeks, after the arrival of Mr.
, we had another joyful meeting with missionary
friends, sent from our native country. The
Rev. Messrs. Colman and Wheelock, for several years
previously to their leaving America, had thought and
felt much on the subject of missions, and could not
rest contented, to sit down as ministers of the gospel,
in their own country, while “the wall of Jerusalem
lay waste,”
in a foreign land. They literally panted F6v 108
to become the heralds of salvation, to those who were
in darkness, and the shadow of death; and though
their prospects of being early and happily settled, over
opulent congregations, were flattering, they relinquished
them all, and, at an early period, made known
their views and wishes to the Board of Missions.
Extracts from their letters, on this subject, to the
corresponding secretary, I cannot omit transcribing,
as they are so very descriptive of the spirit they ever
continued to exhibit until their lamented death.

Mr. Colman wrote thus: “Since I came to the
above conclusion, my mind has been unwavering. It
is true, mountains, at times, have arisen between myself
and the Eastern world. My way has been hedged
up by difficulties, which, to the eye of human reason,
might appear insurmountable. But duty has constantly
appeared the same. Indeed, I esteem missionary
work, not only a duty for me to perform, but
a privilege for me to enjoy; a privilege which I value
more than the riches of the earth. Only give me the
rich satisfaction of holding up the torch of truth, in
the benighted regions of Burmah! This is the object
which lies nearest my heart; for this I can cheerfully
leave my native land, and the bosom of my beloved
friends. I pant to proclaim the gospel to those who
are ignorant of it; to present to their minds that firm
foundation, on which my own hopes of eternal happiness
are built. I took to Burmah as my home, and as the
field of my future toils. To the wretched inhabitants
of that empire I long to present the Bible, the fountain
of knowledge, and to direct their wandering steps to
the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls. Nor can I
refrain from cherishing the hope that my feeble F7r 109
labours among them will be crowned with the blessing
of heaven. Some, I trust, will be induced to
forsake the worship of idols, and to bow the knee to
Him on whose vesture and thigh is written ‘King of
kings, and Lord of lords’
. Prompted, as I believe, by
a deep sense of the worth of souls, and by the command
of our blessed Saviour, who says, ‘Go ye into
all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;’

and encouraged by his promise of constant assistance
and direction to his servants, I, voluntarily and joyfully,
offer myself to be your missionary to the Burman
. May the Lord preside over your
deliberations, and grant me, if it can be consistent
with his holy will, the unspeakable happiness of proclaiming
the love of Jesus to the miserable heathen.”

Mr. Wheelock appears to have been inspired by the
same missionary zeal, and closes his application to the
Board with the following lines: — “To you, honoured
fathers, is my mind directed, as to those, who, under
God, must decide my case. To you I offer, freely and
joyfully offer myself, to become your missionary, to
aid those already under your patronage, to turn the
poor Burmans ‘from idols, to serve the living and
true God.’
And, O! if it is consistent, that one so
unworthy and so unqualified as myself, should engage
in this glorious work, deny me not, I beseech you, the
unspeakable privilege; deny me not the fondest, the
most ardent desire of my soul, that can, in this world,
be gratified. To deny me this, would be to deprive
me of the greatest happiness which, in this world, I
can possibly enjoy. I would rather be a missionary of
the cross, than a king on a throne. Let the men of
this world possess its glittering toys; let the miser F7v 110
grasp his cankered gold; let the voluptuary enjoy his
sordid pleasures; let the ambitious ascend to the pinnacle
of earthly honour; but let me enjoy the sweet
satisfaction of directing the poor pagans to the ‘Lamb
of God’
. I court no greater good; I desire no
greater joy; I seek no greater honour. To Burmah
would I go; in Burmah would I live; in Burmah
would I toil; in Burmah would I die; and in Burmah
would I be buried!”

These two young gentlemen, the one twenty-three,
and the other but twenty years of age, were readily
received by the Board, and soon ordained as missionaries
to the East. In 1817-11November, 1817, they embarked
for Calcutta. The scene, at their departure,
was very interesting and affecting, and very pathetically
described, in the following lines, by the Rev. Dr.
: “See that ship, her sails now bending, Destin’d far to Indian seas; See her canvas wide extending Catch the ling’ring wish’d-for breeze; Richly freighted With ambassadors of peace. See the solemn crowd assembling, Anxious each the scene to view; Some are weeping, others trembling: While a mother presses through, And, with anguish, Bids her only son adieu. See a father’s heart dissolving, While he gazes on his son; Ev’ry tender thought revolving, Turns away, and weeps alone; Softly saying, ‘Father, let thy will be done!’ F8r 111 See a scene no less distressing, Where a mother’s anguish’d heart, Fondly to her bosom pressing, Cries, ‘My son, and must we part? O, my Saviour! Ever keep him near thy heart.’ See that maiden’s arms entwining, Hanging on her brother’s breast; Tears, and grief, and love combining, Still she cries, though much distress’d, ‘Go, my brother, Go and make the Burmans blest.’ Sisters too, with fond embraces, Stand o’erwhelm’d upon the shore; Gazing on each other’s faces, Weeping, part to meet no more! Griev’d and pensive, God’s mysterious ways adore. While the crowd were silent standing, Solemn prayer devoutly flow’d, Clouds of incense like, ascending Up before the throne of God; For our brethren While they’re sailing o’er the flood. Go, ye heralds of salvation, Go, proclaim ‘Redeeming blood;’ Publish to that barb’rous nation, Peace and pardon from our God: Tell the heathen, None but Christ can do them good. While the gospel trump you’re sounding, May the Spirit seal the word; And through sov’reign grace abounding, Burmans bow and own the Lord; Gaud’ma leaving, God alone shall be ador’d. F8v 112 Distant though our souls are blending, Still our hearts are warm and true; In our prayers to heaven ascending, Brethren, we’ll remember you: Heaven preserve you Safely all your journey through. When your mission here is finish’d, And your work on earth is done; May your souls, by grace replenish’d, Find acceptance through the Son; Then admitted, Dwell for ever near his throne. Loud hosannas now resounding, Make the heav’nly arches ring; Grace to sinful men abounding Ransom’d millions sweetly sing; While, with rapture, All adore their heavenly king!

During their passage to the East, these young missionaries
were remarkably blessed in their endeavours
to instruct the sailors. The greater part of the crew
became hopefully pious, before the completion of the
voyage. They arrived at Rangoon, in 1818-09September, 1818, and greatly animated and encouraged us by
their interesting appearance. An account of their
first arrival, and the meeting of the mission family, is
described by Mr. Colman in the following letter:

With much pleasure
I inform you of your arrival in Burmah. Five
months we were on board the Independence, four in
Bengal, and one upon our passage from Calcutta to
this port. Various circumstances conspired to make
the shores of this heathen land appear agreeable to F9r 113
us. We had long been in an unsettled state, and exposed
either to the dangers of the ocean, or to the influence
of a sickly climate. It was delightful to find
ourselves at the end of our tedious journey, and safe
from all the perils through which we had passed.
But another consideration served much to animate us
— we had reached the field in which we were destined
to labour. Here we hoped to spend the remainder of
our days, to scatter the good seed of the kingdom,
and to see some plants of righteousness springing up,
and yielding fruit to the glory of God. When we
arrived at the landing-place, we found our beloved
brethren waiting to receive us. Our feelings, for a
short time, destroyed the power of utterance. We
could do no more than take each other by the hand.
In about an hour the ladies came on shore, when the
whole mission family met, and, by mutual expressions
of joy and love, attracted universal attention. From
the shore we were conducted to the king’s godown,
where we were strictly searched. We then proceeded
to the mission-house. Our feelings were indescribable
when we stepped beneath its roof, and found ourselves
encircled by that dear company which we had desired
so long to enjoy. That was a season of rejoicing.
How swiftly and pleasantly the hours passed away!
How cheering and varied was the conversation! How
fervent were the prayers and thanksgivings to Almighty
For more than a week we were assiduously employed
in getting our things through the customhouse.
Our articles were strictly examined. The
most trifling of them did not escape minute investigation.
Having undergone this tedious operation, we F9v 114
were compelled by the custom of the country, to
make several presents to persons in authority. It is
admitted that the viceroy has the first claim. Feeling
the importance of securing his favour by every lawful
means, we thought the opportunity good to pay him
a visit, and, in presenting our gift, to request his protection.
We found him seated in an open house,
situated in the midst of a spacious garden. Before
him were a number of his officers, and a few persons
presenting petitions. Behind him, at a short distance,
were a group of artizans, of different occupations,
whom he constantly employs. His excellency received
us in a very gracious manner, appeared much pleased
with our present, and gave us the assurance that we
should remain free from molestation beneath his
authority. Surely there is reason for gratitude, that
we are permitted to stay in this heathen land! Little
dependance, however, can be placed in the government.
Things here are continually changing. The
lives and property of the people are at the arbitrary
disposal of a single individual. The whole country,
and all which it contains, are supposed to be his
property. Hence, he gratifies his inclination, without
the least restraint. While, therefore, we acknowledge
with gratitude the protection of earthly rulers, we
feel the necessity of putting all our confidence in the
Lord Jehovah. He can either dispose them to favour
us, or defend us from their injustice and cruelty.
There is, certainly, no reason to fear, while we have
such a powerful Friend. It is true that, in consequence
of several reports which reached us, we once
entertained some serious apprehensions respecting our
personal safety in Burmah; but, as we approached F10r 115
its shores, these apprehensions vanished; and, since
that time, we have felt as secure amidst these habitations
of cruelty as though we were in a Christian
land, and enjoyed the protection of an equitable government.
Sickness and the want of a teacher have greatly
impeded my progress in the language. I had studied
but five days, when I was suddenly taken with an expectoration
of blood from my lungs. The discharge
was small, but it greatly reduced my strength. My
weakness was so great that I was compelled to relinquish
my studies, and almost entirely to abstain
from conversation. This was a severe trial. It caused
great searchings of heart. It led me seriously to
examine the motives which induced me to come to
this heathen land. For two months I was extremely
weak. But He who took away my health has, to a
considerable degree, restored it again. Once more I
have returned to my studies. By the assistance of a
teacher I have read the catechism, tract, and a few of
the first chapters of St. Matthew. I have copied
brother Judson’s grammar, and half of his dictionary.
The latter I hope to finish in two or three months.
With real pleasure I look forward to the time when I
shall obtain a knowledge of this difficult language.
Brother Judson has performed a mighty task. He has
now the great satisfaction of preaching to the poor
heathen the words of eternal life. Hitherto he has
principally confined his exertions to those who visit
him; but soon his labours will be more public. We
have recently purchased a small piece of land, adjoining
the mission premised, on which a place of worship
is now erecting. Here brother Judson intends to F10v 116
spend the principal part of his time. Among other
considerations, I will mention two which induced us
to adopt this plan. We concluded that this method of
communicating divine truth, would be least calculated
to offend the ‘powers which be.’ And, as the necessity
of preaching the gospel is acknowledged, it is
best also, if possible, to pursue that course which will
not excite the suspicions of a cruel and despotic
government. The secluded situation of the house
which we now occupy, had considerable influence
upon our minds. It is situated upon no public road,
and is almost entirely concealed from the view of
passengers by lofty trees. This we conceive to be an
important reason why so few inquire concerning the
gospel. The house which is now building stands
upon one of the roads which lead to the great pagoda.
The passing there is immense, especially on
worship days. We trust our American friends will
pray that from the house which we devote to the
service of God, streams of salvation may flow to all
the surrounding country.”

I remain, my dear Sir,
Very affectionately and respectfully,

A. H. J.

Letter IX.

My dear sir,

The time has now arrived for the relation of those
events which constituted a new and highly important
era in the mission.

F11r117 Hitherto preparations only had been making. Now,
the most essential part of a missionary’s work was
actually commenced: I mean the public preaching of
of the gospel. We had frequently been cast down, but
were not destroyed; we had been dejected, but not
forsaken; and now we saw the way gradually opening
for the promulgation of the gospel, while a variety of
circumstances combined to convince us, that God would
yet make it manifest, that he had not, thus far, continued
the mission for nought.

Our mission family, from two, had been increased
to six. (Mr and Mrs. Hough had embarked for Bengal.)
An unusual spirit of prayer and supplication
evidently existed among us, and it seemed the inquiry
of every individual, “What can, what shall we do, for
the conversion of the Burmans?”
And though our
newly arrived friends could not speak the language,
they were continually encouraging those of us who
could, and spent much time in prayer for them.

The Zayat, the Burman name for a place for public
worship, was erected. Centuries had rolled away,
millions of Burmans had been ushered into eternity,
and God, the Creator of the universe, had never before
seen an altar erected in Burmah for Himself; had
never before heard the voice of prayer and praise ascend
in the Burman language. You, my dear Sir,
who have now become so intimately acquainted with
the circumstances of the mission, and have so minutely
followed us for the last six years, can easily imagine
the impulse and excitement produced by the preceding
consideration. From this time, Mr. Judson transmitted
to the corresponding Secretary, in the form of a journal,
every thing that occurred, of any interest; from F11v 118
which, and a few letters, written by different individuals
of the mission family, you will perceive the origin
and progress of the first Christian church ever
established in the Burman empire: and though, in
point of numbers, the success has not bee splendid,
you will, I doubt not exclaim with us, “What hath
God wrought!”

1818-02-24February24th, 1819, Mr. Judson wrote thus:—“Some
months have elapsed, since I had the opportunity of addressing
the Board. During this time, I have been employed
in reading Burman, holding conversations on religion,
writing some things preparatory to a more public
communication of the gospel, and superintending the
erection of a Zayat, a place of public resort. Since
brother Hough left Rangoon, the remaining families are
so small as to be able to find accommodation, though
rather crowded, in the mission-house, and we concluded
to defer building another, and to appropriate a
small part of the sum remitted by you for that purpose
(about two hundred dollars), to the erection of
a public place on one of the principal roads leading
from the city to the great pagoda. There it is our
intention, as fast as we are able to converse intelligibly,
to spend a considerable part of our time; and,
if we find the attempt practicable under this government,
to have stated public worship. We succeeded,
after much difficulty and delay, in purchasing a small
piece of ground, adjoining the mission premises, and
at the same time, opening on the public road; the
building is slowly going forward, and we hope will
be ready to receive company in about a month. The
measure seems, at present very promising, though it
may eventuate in our banishment from the country. F12r 119
It will, at least, draw us out of our present retired
and almost invisible situation, bring us into public
view, and make us accessible to the multitudes who
pass and repass on business and worship. O that it
may prove a Bethel, a house of prayer and praise!”

“There are several persons of whom we cherish
some hope; but our hopes have been so frequently
raised and depressed, that we know not what to say.
There is certainly a considerable number, whose sentiments
have been changed; and who may be considered
in the state of many nominal Christians, somewhat
enlightened and partially convinced; but I cannot
say that I have ever met with a single person, on whose
mind were discoverable the special operations of the
Holy Spirit. The little number of inquirers is frequently
diminished by removal to other parts of the
country, by death, or by a sudden alarm from government;
and again enlarged by new acquaintances.
Thus a little light is, we hope, gradually spreading
around, though so slowly and so ineffectually, as to
claim but little notice, and to excite but faint and wavering
expectations of immediate success.
It is still a source of much gratification to me,
that I am at length able to converse, if not fluently
and acceptably, at least intelligibly, in this most difficult
language; that I can sit down in the midst of
several poor heathen, wholly ignorant of their God
and Saviour, and, in a short time, enrich their minds
with precious truths, which with the Divine blessing,
are sufficient to save their souls. This is a privilege
indeed: a privilege which I beg the Board to allow
me to enjoy all my days, nor remove me elsewhere,
while there remains any rational prospect of success.
F12v 120 I do indeed feel deeply grateful for the comfortable
supply of our necessary wants, without which we
could not enjoy the privilege of imparting the gospel
to these heathen. I should be happy personally to
express my gratitude to all who furnish this supply,
and especially to my honoured patrons, the Board. I
hope that their care and kindness will not be in vain.
I trust that the blessing of many, ready to perish,
will ultimately rest on all who contribute to and pray
for the Burman mission.”

1819-04-04April 4th, 1819, Mr. Judson again commenced his
journal as follows:—

“My close application to the Burman dictionary,
during the year 18171817, and my subsequent loss of nearly
a year, in the unsuccessful attempt to visit Chittagong,
have occasioned a long interruption in my journal.
Since my return to Rangoon, the little I have had to
say, I have communicated in letters. With this day,
a new and I hope important era in the mission, I resume
the journal.
To-day, the building of the Zayat being sufficiently
advanced for the purpose, I called together a few people
who live around us, and commenced public worship
in the Burman language. I say commenced, for
though I have frequently read and discoursed to the
natives, I have never before conducted a course of
exercises which deserved the name of public worship,
according to the usual acceptation of that phrase
among Christians; and though I began to preach the
gospel, as soon as I could speak intelligibly, I have
thought it hardly becoming to apply the term preaching
(since it has acquired an appropriate meaning in
modern use), to my imperfect, desultory exhortations G1r 121
and conversations. But I hope, though with fear and
trembling, that I have now commenced a course of
public worship, and regular preaching. This would
have taken place just a year ago, had I returned to
Rangoon, as I expected; and still earlier, had I not
been under a government, where I thought it prudent
to gain a considerable acquaintance with the language,
before commencing public operations, lest I should be
unable properly to vindicate my conduct, when called
to a judicial account.
The congregation to day consisted of fifteen persons
only, besides children. Much disorder and inattention
prevailed, most of them not having been accustomed
to attend Burman worship. May the Lord
grant his blessing on attempts made in great weakness,
and under great disadvantages; and all the glory will
be His!
This evening I went, for the second
time, to hear a popular Burman preacher. On our
arrival, we found a Zayat, in the precincts of one of
the most celebrated pagodas, lighted up, and the floor
spread with mats. In the centre was a frame raised
about eighteen inches from the ground, where the
preacher on his arrival, seated himself. He appeared
to be about forty-five years old, of very pleasant countenance,
and harmonious speech. He was once a
priest, but is now a layman. The people, as they
came in, seated themselves on the mats, the men on
one side of the house, and the women on the other.
It was an undistinguished day, and the congregation
was very small, not more than one hundred. When
we entered, some said, ‘There come some wild foreigners;’
but when we sat down properly, and took G G1v 122
off our shoes, they began to say, ‘No, they are not
wild; they are civilized.’
Some recognized me, and
said to one another, ‘It is the English teacher;’ a
name by which I am commonly known. The preacher
soon took notice of us, entered into some conversation,
invited us to visit him, and so on; but on learning
that I was a missionary, or, in their idiom, a religionmaking
teacher, his countenance fell, and he said no
more. The people being now convened, one appointed
for the purpose, called three times for silence and attention.
Each person then took the flowers and leaves
which had been previously distributed, and placing
them between his fingers, raised them to his head, and
in that respectful posture remained motionless, until
the service was closed. This ceremony we of course
declined. When all things were properly adjusted,
the preacher closed his eyes, and commenced the exercise,
which consisted in repeating a portion from the
Burman sacred writings. His subject was the conversion
of the two prime disciples of Gaudama, and
their subsequent promotion and glory. His oratory I
found to be entirely different from all that we call
oratory. At first, he seemed dull and monotonous; but
presently, his soft mellifluent tones won their way into
the heart, and lulled the soul into that state of calmness
and serenity, which, to a Burman mind, somewhat
resembles the boasted perfection of their saints of old.
His discourse continued about half an hour; and at
the close, the whole assembly burst out into a short
prayer, after which, all rose and retired. This man
exhibits twice every evening, in different places. Indeed
he is the only popular lay preacher in the place.
As for the priests, they preach on special occasions G2r 123
only, when they are drawn from their seclusion and
inactivity, by the solicitations of their adherents.
There were about as many
present at Burman worship in the Zayat, as last Sunday.
They behaved with rather more order; but it
seemed impossible to secure their fixed attention.
Those who, in the course of the week, engaged to
attend, forgot their engagement; so that the assembly
consisted entirely of people who lived around us. I
never felt so deeply the immense difficulty of making a
first impression on a heathen people.
Yesterday we completed
the Zayat, set up the front stairs, and laid open the
entrance from the road. This morning I took my
seat on the floor, in the open porch, under a solemn
impression of the great responsibility attached to my
new mode of life.
In the forenoon the members of the mission family
came over to have our usual worship, having concluded
to hold it for a few Sundays in the Zayat, rather
than in the house, in order to give the Burmans some
idea of the place.
In the afternoon our people came together, and
several came in from the road, so that we had an assembly
of between twenty-five and thirty, besides
children. At the close of the service, I distributed
several tracts to the strangers.
The forepart of the day quite
barren. Studied with my teacher, as usual. Towards
night had an audience of about a dozen, several of
whom were from the neighbouring village of Kambet.
These paid particular attention.
One of the most attentive G2 G2v 124
of the hearers last night, came again, with a petty
officer from another village. They staid the most of
the day, received a great deal of instruction, and left,
with a promise that they would come as often as the
distance of their residence permit. Considerably
encouraged to-day, with the hope that God is preparing
a people in this benighted land.
Nothing interesting
through the day. At night, encountered a bitter opposer;
he had visited Bengal, and some foe to missions
had poisoned his mind: he manifested a most virulent
spirit. I felt that he would gladly be foremost in destroying
us. But through Divine grace I was enabled
to treat him with meekness and gentleness, and he
finally left me politely. He appeared to be rich, and
had several followers.
In the evening there were some hopeful appearances
in Mrs. J’s female meeting, which she has recommenced
since public worship has been set up at the Zayat.
A young man of twentyfour,
by name Moung Koo, happened to stroll in last
Sunday, and was present at worship. He appeared to
be rather wild and noisy, though his manners were respectful.
He took a tract and went away. This
morning, he made his appearance again, and has been
with me about two hours. I have been enabled, through
Divine assistance, to impart much religious instruction,
and especially to expatiate with some feeling, on the
love and sufferings of the Saviour. The truth seems
to have taken hold of his mind, and though he is quick
and sensible, and has some savage fire in his eye, he
is very docile, and ready to drink in the truth, without
the numberless cavils and objections which are so common G3r 125
among the Burmans. He engaged to come next
Sunday, promised to pray constantly, and gave me his
name to pray for him, that he might be a disciple of
Christ, and be delivered from hell. I feel considerable
attachment to this young man, and my heart goes forth
to the mercy seat, in behalf of his precious soul.
I was agreeably surprised, in
the morning, to see the young man of yesterday come
again so soon. He staid all the forenoon, and seemed
desirous of hearing as much as possible about religion.
Several others came and went. A very busy day;
hardly time to prepare these minutes to be forwarded
by a vessel which leaves this port for Bengal, early
to-morrow morning.”

The following letter to Mrs. S. describes the encouraging
appearances, at this time, among the females
who attended my Wednesday meetings:

“Your affectionate letter of 1818-01-27January 27, 1818, I
received on the arrival of our new missionary associates,
and should have answered it by the last ship
which sailed for Bengal, but ill health prevented my
writing to any of my American friends. Accept my
sincere thanks for the favour, and be assured that your
and Dr. S.’s letters often animate and encourage our
minds. As you are particularly interested in this mission,
I hesitate not to write discouraging as well as
encouraging circumstances, to present the dark as well
as the bright side of the case; and although this method
will sometimes occasion painful feelings, it will
excite to fervent and persevering prayer, and prevent
the severe disappointment, which is frequently the result
of false colouring. You have doubtless, my dear
Mrs. S—, heard of the series of trials through G3v 126
which this mission passed during the last year. The
bright prospect which animated us just before Mr.
departure for Chittagong, passed away in a
moment, and was succeeded by an apparently impenetrable
cloud. The arrival of the brethren C. and
W. greatly rejoiced us, and caused us to feel that this
mission was still an object of the care of Providence.
But our rejoicings were quite checked by their both
being taken with bleeding at the lungs, and other
symptoms of debility. Brother Coleman has been gradually
recovering, and is able to apply closely to the
study of the language, though he is still so weak at
the lungs as to be hardly heard when leading in prayer:
but brother Wheelock has been growing weaker, has
a violent cough, and every symptom of a fixed consumption.
We have now given up all hope of his recovery.
We consider Mr. and Mrs. Coleman a valuable
acquisition to the mission, enjoy much in their society,
and exceedingly regret that the present weak state of
his lungs forbids our expecting much from his public
labours for a length of time.
Since Mr. Judson has commenced public preaching
in the Zayat, I have begun again to have my female
meetings, which were given up, in consequence of
the scattered state of the Burmans around us, at the
time of our government difficulties. I attend with
them every Wednesday evening at seven o’clock, as
they are more at leisure in the evening than any other
time. My last meeting was very animating and the
appearance of the females (thirteen in number, all
young married women) very encouraging. Some of
them very inquisitive, and after spending two hours
seemed loth to go. One said, she appeared to herself G4r 127
like a blind person just beginning to see. And another
said, she believed in Christ, prayed to him daily, and
asked what else was necessary to make her a real disciple
of Christ. I told her she must not only say that
she believed in Christ, but must believe with all her
heart. She again asked what were some of the evidences
of believing with the heart. I told her the
manner of life would be changed; but one of the best
evidences she could obtain would be, when others
came to quarrel with her and use abusive language, if,
so far from retaliating, she felt a disposition to bear
with, to pity, and to pray for them. The Burman women
are particularly given to quarrelling, and to refrain
from it would be a most decided evidence of a change
of heart. But, my dear Mrs. S――, we have no reason
to expect that the adversary of souls will let us
long go on quietly in our exertions to undermine his
kingdom here. Will he not make every possible exertion
for the destruction of this infant cause? Yes;
but though he rage, he can go no farther than the
length of his chain, which is held in the right hand of
Him, who loves his church, who keeps it as the apple
of his eye, and who, if any of his elect are among this
idolatrous people, will keep them from the destructive
influence of inferior power. ‘What though the heathen
rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
What though the kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord
and his cause? He that sitteth in the heavens shall
laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision. He
will set his son upon his holy hill, he will give the
heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of
the earth for his possession.’
These precious promises G4v 128
my dear Mrs. S—, dissipate our desponding fears,
and cause us at times to feel, that ‘in the Lord we
have everlasting strength,’
that He will yet look on us
with a favourable eye, and crown our exertions with
success. We hope our friends at home will not be discouraged,
or cease to pray fervently for the prosperity
of this mission. If they knew all the circumstances
and the difficulties we have to encounter, so far from
being discouraged, they would perceive the greatest
ground for encouragement. Through the kindness of
the Board, our temporal wants are comfortably supplied,
for which we wish to express our gratitude.
Accompanying is a Siamese catechism, which I
have just copied, that you may see the form and manner
of writing this language. I have attended to the
Siamese language for about a year and a half, and,
with the assistance of my teacher, have translated the
Burman catechism, tract, and the gospel of St. Matthew
into that language. I have also translated one
of the Siamese books into English, and would send it
to you if it was not so bulky and so much labour to
copy. It is an account of the incarnation of one of
their deities, when he existed in the form of a great
elephant! The perusal of it, I dare say, would afford
you much amusement, as well as excite your commiseration
for a people who are so deluded as to believe
such fictitious stories.”

Continuation of Extracts from Mr. Judson’s Journal.

I perceive that one
large parcel, forwarded in the year 18161816, never reached
America. It contained, among other things, my journal G5r 129
from 1815-10October 1815, to 1816-02February 1816. On looking
over the original minutes, I perceive one article only
that is worth transcribing. The article will, at least,
serve to give some account of myself, during a period
which must appear to be unaccounted for in the letters
which have reached the Board:
The greater part of my time
for the last six months has been occupied in studying
and transcribing, in alphabetical arrangement, the Pali
, or dictionary of the Pali language, affixing to
the Pali terms the interpretation in Burman, and again
transferring the Burman words to a dictionary, Burman
and English. With the close of the year I have
brought this tedious work to a close; and find, that
the number of Pali words collected, amounts to about
four thousand. It has grieved me to spend so much
time on the Pali; but the constant occurrence of Pali
terms in every Burman book, made it absolutely
The two languages are entirely distinct. The Burman
is a language sui generis, peculiar to itself. It is
true we cannot know what affinity it has to some of
the Indo-Chinese languages, that are yet uninvestigated;
but it is essentially different from the Sungskrit,
the parent of almost all the languages in India
Proper, and indeed from every language that has yet
come under the cognizance of Europeans.
The Pali, on the other hand, is a dialect of the
Sungskrit, and was introduced into this country with
the religion of Boodh. This personage, whose proper
name is Guaaudama, appeared in Hindostan, about
two thousand three hundred years ago, and gave a
new form and dress to the old transmigration system, G5 G5v 130
which, in some shape or other, has existed time immemorial.
The Brahmans, in the mean time, dressed
up the system after their fashion; and these two modifications,
Brahmanism and Boodhism, struggled for
the ascendency. At length, the family of Guaaudama,
which had held the sovereignty of India, was dethroned,
his religion was denounced, and his disciples
took refuge in Ceylon and the neighbouring countries.
In that island, about five hundred years after the decease
and supposed annihilation of their teacher or
deity, they composed their sacred writings, in that
dialect of the Sungskrit which had obtained in Ceylon;
thence, they were conveyed, by sea, to the IndoChinese
nations. Boodhism, however, had gained
footing in Burmah, before the arrival of the sacred
books from Ceylon. It is commonly maintained, that
it was introduced by his emissaries before his death.
It is obvious, that the introduction of a new religion,
and new sacred writings, must have great effect
on the language of a people. And, accordingly, (not
to speak of the influence which the Pali has had on
the general construction of the Burman language,) a
considerable number of words in common use, and a
very great proportion of theological terms, are of Pali
origin. Thus, though the Pali is now a dead language,
cultivated by the learned only, some knowledge
of it is indispensable to one who would acquire a perfect
knowledge of the Burman, and especially to a
missionary, who intends to translate the Scriptures,
and who ought, therefore, above all others, to be perfectly
acquainted with the terms he employs.
With these views, I was desirous of laying a little
foundation for such further improvements in the language, G6r 131
as necessity should require, adamagedapproximately 3 words
And having done this—having a vocdamagedapproximately 3 words
reference, correction, and enlargement damagedapproximately 3 words
to devote my whole time again to the damagedapproximately 3 words
Burman day of damagedapproximately 2 words
course many visitors. Among the rest, damagedapproximately 2 words
a man who was with me several hours damagedapproximately 2 words
from his silence and reserve, excited littldamagedapproximately 2 words
hope. Today, however, I begin to thdamagedapproximately 2 words
him. Moung Koo came again at night, and damagedapproximately 2 words
pretty well. These two men, with two persons
from Kambet, of the 27th of the last month, I call the
fruits of the week. But let us see who of them will
remember the day of worship.
About three o’clock the quiet
and modest Moung Nau came in, and took his usual
place. For the others we looked in vain. About
thirty present at worship. Very few paid much attention,
or probably received any benefit.
Among the visitors of to-day was a respectable
man, formerly an officer, now a merchant,
resident at Little Bridge, a village contiguous to
Kambet. After long and various conversation, in
which he paid close and respectful attention, he said
that he was a person not a little versed in Burman
literature; but that he now saw he had erred in all;
he regretted that he had lived two years in the neighbourhood,
without knowing me; to-day was an auspicious
day; he wished to become my disciple, would
read my writings with attention, and come as often as
Moung Nau has been with me several
hours. I begin to think that the grace of God has G6v 132
damagedapproximately 3 words He expresses sentiments of repen-
damagedapproximately 3 words and faith in the Saviour. The sub-
damagedapproximately 3 wordsfession is, that from all the darkness,
damagedapproximately 3 wordses and sins of his whole life, he has
damagedapproximately 2 wordser Saviour but Jesus Christ; no where
damagedapproximately 2 wordsook for salvation; and therefore he pro-
damagedapproximately 2 wordse to Christ, and worship him all his life
damagedapproximately 2 words
damagedapproximately 3 wordsalmost too much to believe, that God
damagedapproximately 2 wordsn to manifest his grace to the Burmans; but
this day I could not resist the delightful conviction,
that this is really the case. Praise and glory be to
his name for evermore
. Amen.
Moung Nau was again with me a great
part of the day. He appears to be slowly growing in
religious knowledge, and manifests a teachable, humble
spirit, ready to believe all that Christ has said, and
obey all that he has commanded.
He is thirty-five years old—no family—middling
abilities—quite poor—obliged to work for his living,
and therefore his coming day after day to hear the
truth, affords stronger evidence that it has taken hold
of his mind. May the Lord graciously lead his dark
mind into all the truth, and cause him to cleave inviolably
to the blessed Saviour.
Burman day of worship. Thronged
with visitors through the day. Had more or less company,
without intermission, for about eight hours. Several
heard much of the gospel, and engaged to come
again. Moung Nau was with me a great part of the
day, and assisted me much in explaining things to new
comers. Towards night, a man came in, by name
Moung Shway Oo, whom I think it time to mention G7r 133
particularly, as he has visited me several times; and
though, like Moung Nau, apparently backward at
first, he appears to be really thoughtful. He is a
young man of twenty-seven, of very pleasant exterior,
and evidently in good circumstances. Poor Moung
, who appeared so forward at first, alas, too forward!
has quite discontinued his visits. No news
yet from the villages of Kambet and Little Bridge.
Moung Shway Oo came in
the morning, and staid through the whole day. Only
two or three of all I conversed with yesterday came
again. Had, however, an assembly of thirty. After
worship some warm disputation. I begin to feel that
the Burmans cannot stand before the truth. In the
course of the conversation Moung Nau declared himself
a disciple of Christ, in presence of a considerable
number; and even Moung Shway Oo appeared to incline
the same way.
Early in the morning Moung Nau
came to take leave, being obliged to go to a distance
after timber—his usual occupation. I took him alone,
and prayed with him, and gave him a written prayer
to help him in his private devotion. He received my
parting instructions with great attention and solemnity;
said he felt that he was a disciple of Christ
—hoped that he should be kept from falling—desired
the prayers of us all—expressed a wish that, if he held
out some time after his return, we would allow him to
profess Christ in baptism, and so he departed. The
Lord Jesus go with him, and bless him. He is poor.
I felt a great desire to give him something; but
thought it safer to put no temptation in his way. If,
on his return, he still cleave to Christ, his profession G7v 134
will be more satisfactory than it would be if he had
any expectations from me.
Had more or less company from
morning till night. Among the rest of Moung Shway
, and two or three others, who appear to be pretty
well satisfied that the Boodhist religion has no foundation.
Conversation was very animated, and somewhat
encouraging; but I wanted to see more seriousness,
and more anxiety to be saved from sin.
Heard much to-day of the danger of introducing
a new religion. All agreed in opinion that the king
would cut off those who embraced it, being a king
who could not bear that his subjects should differ in
sentiment from himself, and who has, for a long time,
persecuted the priests of the established religion of the
empire, because they would not sanction all his innovations.
Those who seemed most favourably disposed,
whispered me, that I had better not stay in
Rangoon and talk to common people, but go directly
to the ‘lord of life and death’. If he approved of the
religion, it would spread rapidly; but, in the present
state of things, none would dare to prosecute their
inquiries, with the fear of the king before their eyes.
They brought forward the case of the Kolans, a sect
of Burmans, who have been proscribed and put to
death under several reigns. I tried to set them right
in some points, and encourage them to trust in the
care of an Almighty Saviour; but they speak low, and
look around fearfully, when they mention the name of
the owner of the sword.
Had company all day, without intermission.
Almost noon Moung Nau came in, having
given up his journey, on account of the unfaithfulness G8r 135
of his employer. His behaviour and conversation
were very satisfactory. He regrets the want of a believing
associate, but declares his determination of
adhering to Christ, though no Burman should ever
join him.
Moung Shway Doan, a man who has attended two
Sundays, and made some occasional visits, was with
me several hours. He professes to have felt the truth
of this new religion, ever since he first heard about it, and
now desires to be a disciple of Christ. He has obtained,
I find, considerable knowledge of the Christian
system; but does not appear to have much sense of
his own sins. May the Spirit teach him what man
Moung Nau has been with me all
day, as well as yesterday. He is anxious to be received
into our company, and thinks it a great privilege
to be the first among the Burmans in professing
the religion of Jesus Christ. He has been told plainly,
that he has nothing to expect in this world but persecution,
and perhaps death; but he thinks it better to
die for Christ, and be happy hereafter, than to live a
few days, and be for ever wretched. All the members
of the mission have, at different times, conversed with
him, and are satisfied that a work of grace is begun in
his heart.
In the forenoon, a man
came in from Kyaikasan, a neighbouring village, and
listened with more apparent sincerity than is commonly
manifested during the first visit. He had received
a tract about a year ago, and had thought considerably
on the subject.
About the usual number were present at worship; G8v 136
but a larger proportion than common were strangers.
A lawyer belonging to the viceroy, and some other
respectable persons, were present, and gave me much
trouble, without, I fear, receiving any benefit. Moung
Shway Doan
was present, and appeared pretty well
after worship. Moung Shway Oo has, I suppose returned
to Henthadah, the next city above Rangoon.
He took no leave of me; yet I cannot give up all
hope of him. At his last visit, he said he should constantly
read my writings, and pray to the eternal God.
Moung Nau has received an advantageous
offer to go to Ava, in the employ of a boat
owner. We were afraid to dissuade him from accepting
it, as he has no way of getting a living; and
equally unwilling to have him absent several months.
At length we advised him not to go, and he at once
For several days there have been no
visitors at all. I ascribe it partly to the distress which
presses on all ranks of people, on account of the heavy
tax which is now raising. Yesterday we received an
order to pay, on account of our servants, forty-eight
ticals of pure silver, equal to thirty dollars. To-day,
after having made every inquiry, we applied to the
viceroy. He replied, that it was an extraordinary tax,
and must be paid; but that we might be excused from
paying it to the proper officer, and have the privilege
of paying it to himself! We were, therefore, obliged
to produce the money.
Had several attentive hearers; among
the rest Moung Ay, who says that the good news has
taken hold of his mind. I have been so frequently
disappointed in visitors, who appeared promising the G9r 137
first time, but never came again, that I have lost all
credit in early professions; yet I cannot but hope well
of this man, especially as Moung Nau appeared to like
him better than any other inquirer.
We have taken Moung Nau to live
with us, intending to employ him in copying some
small things for distribution, which we cannot get
printed at present, and allow him ten ticals a month.
Our principal object, however, is to keep him in the
way of instruction, hoping that he will ultimately be
useful to his countrymen.
At night, Moung Ay came the second time, and
appeared anxious to know the way of salvation. But
I am grieved to find that he is going away on business
to-morrow morning, and will be absent a long time.
The Kyaikasan villager,
Moung Nyo, mentioned last Sunday, came again, with
three companions. He staid the whole day, and appears
to be in the same state of mind as Moung Ay.
Both say, they are convinced that there is an eternal
God; that having denied him all their lives, and, of
course, lived contrary to his commands, their sins are
great; and that the news of salvation through the
death of the Son of God, is good news. Thus far
they venture. But whether the Spirit has given, or
will give them true love to the Saviour, and thus enable
them to trust in him, we must leave for time to
A ship, long expected from Bengal,
came up the river, but was obliged at night to anchor
a few miles below the town.
In the afternoon the captain came on
shore. We received a few loose letters from Bengal. G9v 138
Had the mortification to find that most of our letters
were in a parcel and box stowed away in the hold.
Out all day; but unable to get hold
of the precious articles.
In the afternoon had news that the
parcel was sent ashore; and at the same moment received
peremptory orders from the collector of the
district, to pay four hundred and fifty ticals of pure
silver. The order was communicated through the
same medium as the last, and all the circumstances
conspire to convince us, that it is done by the authority
of the viceroy; and if he succeeds in getting this
money, it will most assuredly be the beginning of a
system of extortion, which will make it impossible for
us to remain at Rangoon. What shall we do? We
cannot expose the funds of the Board to the mercy of
a government which demands hundreds at once. We
cannot go up to Ava just now, and seek redress of the
emperor. The viceroy would interdict the measure,
as the object would be apparent. This viceroy had been in office but a short time, and we
were not particularly acquainted with him.
The poor parcel
lost its value. We glanced at a few of the most important
letters; and hastened to lay our case before
two Europeans, who hold places under government.
Both promised to use their influence. Late at night,
after the evening levee, we received information from
them both, that they had forgotten our case. We
have nothing, therefore, to do, but to commit it to
Him who will not forget us, and retire to rest with
aching hearts.
Applied again to one of the officers, G10r 139
in whom I have most confidence. Spent the forenoon
in drawing up a memorial (to be presented to the viceroy
as a last resort), stating our object in coming to
the country, our means of support, and our ministerial
character. At noon, received news from the
officer applied to in the morning, that he had been
before the raywoon, the second in government, and
stated the impropriety of taxing ministers of religion;
that the raywoon summoned the head of the district,
and having ascertained that the order did not emanate
from the viceroy himself, dismissed him with a reprimand.
O, what a relief to our burdened hearts!
Thanks be to a gracious Saviour!
In the afternoon succeeded in getting the box, in
which most of our letters were deposited. Enjoyed
a happy season, in devouring much private and public
intelligence from our dear friends and native land.
These are the first letters that have been forwarded
from Bengal for eight months.
Have had but little company in the
Zayat for several days. In the intervals, have been
happy in examining the magazines and other publications,
lately received—a pleasure peculiar to a missionary
in a heathen land.
Had two interesting visitors.
They were present at worship, and staid till
dark—certain they should come again—but will
After partaking of the Lord’s supper in the evening,
we read and considered the following letter of
Moung Nau, which he wrote of his own accord:—
I, Moung Nau, the constant recipient of your
excellent favour, approach your feet. Whereas my G10v 140
Lord’s three have come to the country of Burmah,
not for the purpose of trade, but to preach the religion
of Jesus Christ, the Son of the eternal God, I,
having heard and understood, am, with a joyful mind,
filled with love.
‘ I believe that the Divine Son, Jesus Christ, suffered
death, in the place of men, to atone for their
sins. Like a heavy-laden man, I feel my sins are very
many. The punishments of my sins I deserve to suffer.
Since it is so, do you, Sirs, consider, that I, taking
refuge in the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ, and receiving
baptism, in order to become his disciple, shall
dwell one with yourselves, a band of brothers, in the
happiness of heaven, and (therefore) grant me the
ordinance of baptism. At the time of writing this, not having heard much of baptism,
be seems to have ascribed an undue efficacy to the ordinance.
He has since corrected his error; but the translator thinks it
most fair and impartial to give the letter, just as it was written
at first.
It is through the grace of
Jesus Christ, that you, Sirs, have come by ship, from
one country and continent to another, and that we
have met together. I pray my Lord’s three, that a
suitable day may be appointed, and that I may receive
the ordinance of baptism.
Moreover, as it is only since I have met with you,
Sirs, that I have known about the eternal God, I venture
to pray, that you will still unfold to me the religion
of God, that my old disposition may be destroyed,
and my new disposition improved.’
We have all, for some time, been satisfied concerning
the reality of his religion, and therefore voted
to receive him into church fellowship, on his being G11r 141
baptized, and proposed next Sunday for administering
the ordinance.
For the last fortnight,
have but little company at the Zayat, owing, probably,
to the rains which have now fully set in. The
town has also been in great confusion, in prospect of
the viceroy’s departure for Ava. We have been called
on to pay another tax of fifteen ticals—got off with
paying half. Have had several other molestations
from petty officers of government. Concluded to
postpone Moung Nau’s baptism, till the viceroy be
fairly off. He left Rangoon yesterday, and has arrived
at the next village, which is a kind of rendezvous
to the vast multitude of boats that accompany
To-day Moung Shway Doan appeared again, after
an absence of several weeks, and a little revived our
hopes concerning him. Several whom I have particularly
mentioned, have discontinued their visits, though
I am satisfied that they are discontinued their visits, though
I am satisfied that they are convinced of the falsity of
the Burman religion, and of the truth of the Christian.
I cannot possibly penetrate their motives.
Whether, after several visits, they meet with some
threatening suggestion, that awakens their fears of
persecution; or whether, at a certain stage in their
inquiries, they get such an insight into the gospel, as
rouses the enmity of the carnal heart, I am not able
from my experience hitherto to ascertain.
The town is in the utmost anxiety and
alarm. Order after order has reached our viceroy, to
hasten his return to Ava, with all the troops under
arms. Great news is whispered. Some say there is a
rebellion; some say the king is sick; some that he is G11v 142
dead. But none dare to say this plainly. It would be
a crime of the first magnitude; for the ‘lord of land
and water’
is called immortal. The eldest son of his
eldest son (his father being dead), has long been declared
the heir of the crown; but he has two very
powerful uncles, who, it is supposed, will contest his
right; and, in all probability, the whole country will
soon be a scene of anarchy and civil war.
Out all the morning listening for
news, uncertain whether a day or an hour will not
plunge us into the greatest distress. The whole place
is sitting in sullen silence, expecting an explosion.
About ten o’clock a royal despatch boat pulls up to
the shore. An imperial mandate is produced. The
crowds make way for the sacred messengers, and follow
them to the high court, where the authorities of
the place are assembled. Listen ye—The immortal
king (wearied it would seem with the fatigues of
royalty) has gone up to amuse himself in the celestial
regions. His grandson, the heir apparent, is seated
on the throne. The young monarch enjoins on all to
remain quiet, and wait his imperial orders.
It appears that the prince of Toung Oo, one of
his uncles, has been executed, with his family and adherents,
and the prince of Pyee placed in confinement.
There has probably been bloody work; but it seems,
from what has transpired, that the business has been
settled so expeditiously, that the distant provinces
will not feel the shock.
Had some encouraging conversation
with Moung Thahlah, a young man, who has been
living in our yard several months. He has lately
made me many visits at the Zayat, and appeared very G12r 143
thoughtful and teachable. To-day, on being asked
the state of his mind, he replied with some feeling,
that he and all men were sinners, and exposed to
future punishment; that, according to the Boodhist
system, there was no way of pardon; but that, according
to the religion which I taught, there was not
only a way of pardon, but a way of enjoying endless
happiness in heaven; and that, therefore, he wanted
to believe in Christ. I stated to him, as usual, that
he must think much on the love of Christ, and pray to
God for an enlightened mind and new heart, and then
gave him a form of prayer suited to his case.
In the evening female-meeting, his sister, Ma
, whose husband also lives in our yard, manifested
considerable feeling (especially when Mrs. Judson
prayed with her alone), and expressed strong desire to
obtain an interest in the Saviour.
There were several
strangers present at worship. After the usual course,
I called Moung Nau before me, read and commented
on an appropriate portion of scripture, asked him
several questions concerning his faith, hope and love,
and made the baptismal prayer, having concluded to
have all the preparatory exercises done in the Zayat.
We then proceeded to a large pond in the vicinity,
the bank of which is graced with an enormous image
of Gaudama, and there administered baptism to the
first Burman convert. O, may it prove the beginning
of a series of baptisms in the Burman empire, which
shall continue in uninterrupted succession to the end
of time!
News arrived that the prince of Pyee
died in prison of his broken limbs. The emissaries of G12v 144
the new king are searching in every direction for the
adherents and protegés of his deceased uncles.
We have had the pleasure of
sitting down, for the first time, to the Lord’s table,
with a converted Burman; and it was my privilege,—
a privilege to which I have been looking forward with
desire for many years,—to administer the Lord’s
Supper in two languages. And now let me, in haste,
close my journal for transmission to the Board.”

I remain, my dear Sir,
Very affectionately and respectfully,

A. H. J.

Letter X.

My dear sir,

You have seen the power and grace of God displayed
in the conversion of one Burman, the first
probably who ever ventured publicly to profess the
religion of Christ. To discover in an ignorant,
heathen Boodhist, such evident marks of a new disposition,
so soon after the commencement of public
preaching, far exceeded our most sanguine expectations,
and excited that trust and confidence in God,
which, we then thought, would forbid future discouragement.
This convert became an invaluable assistant
in the Zayat, often helping Mr. Judson to certain
modes of expression, peculiar to a Burman, and
absolutely necessary to his understanding the truths H1r 145
communicated. This child-like spirit and heavenly
temper is farther described in the following letter to
Mrs. S――, dated Rangoon, 1819-06-03June 3d, 1819:

“It is only three or four weeks since we sent a
parcel to Bengal, in which was a letter in answer to
yours of 1818-01January, 1818. But your kindness in writing
again before the reception of that, is very grateful
to my feelings, and I take this early opportunity
of commencing a letter, which I shall continue as
events occur, until a vessel sails for Bengal.
In my last, I mentioned Mr. Judson’s commencing
public preaching in a building which we had
erected for that purpose, and which you will in future
know by the name Zayat. Little did I think, when I
last wrote, that I should so soon have the joyful intelligence
to communicate, that one Burman has embraced
the Christian religion, and given good evidence
of being a true disciple of the dear Redeemer. This
event, this single trophy of victorious grace, has filled
our hearts with sensations hardly to be conceived by
Christians in Christian countries. This circumstance
has convinced us, that God can and does operate on
the minds of the most dark and ignorant, and that he
makes his own truths, his own word, the instrument
of operation. It serves also to encourage us to hope
that the Lord has other chosen ones in this place. As
Mr. Judson has given some account of the first impressions
of this man, and as I have had him particularly
under my instruction since his conversion, I will
give you some of his remarks in his own words, with
which you will be much interested: ‘Besides Jesus
, I see no way of salvation. He is the Son of
the God who has no beginning, no end. He so loved H H1v 146
and pitied men that he suffered death in their stead.
My mind is sore on account of the sins I have committed
during the whole of my life, particularly in
worshipping a false god. Our religion, pure as it
may be, does not purify the minds of those who believe
it—it cannot restrain from sin. But the religion
of Jesus Christ makes the mind pure. His disciples
desire not to grieve him by sinning. In our religion
there is no way to escape the punishment due to sin;
but, according to the religion of Christ, he himself
has died in order to deliver his disciples. I wish all
the Burmans would become his disciples; then we
should meet together as you do in your country;
then we should be all happy together in heaven. How
great are my thanks to Jesus Christ for sending
teachers to this country, and how great are my thanks
to the teachers for coming! Had they never come
and built that Zayat, I should never have heard of
Christ and the true God. I mourn that so much of
my life passed away before I heard of this religion.
How much I have lost!’
It is peculiarly interesting
to see with what eagerness he drinks in the truths
from the Scriptures. A few days ago I was reading
with him Christ’s sermon on the mount. He was
deeply impressed, and unusually solemn. ‘These
words (said he) take hold on my very heart; they
make me tremble. Here God commands us to do
every thing that is good in secret, not to be seen of
men. How unlike our religion is this! When Burmans
make offerings to the pagodas, they make a
great noise with drums and musical instruments, that
others may see how good they are. But this religion
makes the mind fear God, it makes it of its own accord H2r 147
fear sin.’
When I read this passage, Lay not up
for yourselves treasures, &c. he said, ‘What words
are these! It does not mean that we shall take the
silver and gold from this world and carry them to
heaven; but that, by becoming the disciples of Jesus,
we shall live in such a manner as to enjoy heaven
when we die.’
We have taken him into our employ
for the present, as a copyist, though our primary object
was to have him near us, that we might have a better
opportunity to know more of him before he received
baptism, and of imparting to him more instruction
than occasional visits can afford. Mornings and
evenings he spends in reading the Scriptures, and
when we all meet in the hall for family worship, he
comes and sits with us; though he cannot understand,
he says he can think of God in his heart.
I have just had a very interesting
meeting with the women, fifteen in number.
They appeared unusually solemn, and I could not
help hoping that the Holy Spirit was hovering over
us, and would ere long descend, and enlighten their
precious immortal souls. Their minds seem to be
already prepared to embrace the truth, as their prejudices
in favour of the Burman religion are apparently
destroyed. They also appear to be convinced
that the atonement for sin provided in the gospel, is
suitable for persons in their situation. But they
frequently say, the great difficulty in the way of their
becoming Christians, is the sinfulness of their hearts,
which they cannot yet overcome. O, for the influences
of that Spirit, which can alone effect the
mighty change! Pray much, my dear Mrs. S—,
pray particularly for these perishing females, who H2 H2v 148
begin to feel the power of sin, and I trust also to fear
the consequences. After meeting this evening Moung
, the Burman convert, came in, and observed that
the truths were solemn which had been communicated,
and his mind was uneasy. I asked the reason. He
said, ‘he found he had many sins remaining in his
heart, and he knew not whether Christ would save
I told him Christ came to save such lost, helpless
sinners as he thought himself; and if he put his
trust in Him he would surely save him, though his
sins were ever so numerous. It rejoices our hearts to
see such evident marks of the operations of the Holy
Spirit in this man, and we feel, in hearing his simple
communications of the exercises in his mind, that we
are more than compensated for all the days of darkness
and discouragement which we have spent in this
heathen land.
I must now, my dear Mrs. S—,
finish my letter, as we hear a vessel is to sail for
Bengal in a few days, and I have twenty unanswered
letters now before me. The town at present is all in
confusion, on account of the enormous taxes which
have been lately levied, and the speedy departure of
the present viceroy for Ava. He has been here only a
year and a half, and though he has not been recalled
by the king, he is about to depart on a visit, as he says,
to his family, who are still at Ava, but it is probable
that he will not immediately return. The expenses of
his journey are defrayed entirely by the poor people,
who are at such times exceedingly oppressed. In addition
to this, there has been an extra tax levied for
the king, from the payment of which not a single
family has been exempted, not even slaves and H3r 149
foreigners, who have escaped on every other occasion.
We too have had our trials and perplexities, in consequence
of the levy on this tax. The first demand
was moderate, not exceeding thirty dollars. This we
did not intend to pay, if we could possibly avoid it.
We accordingly applied to the viceroy; but he said it
was a tax from which he himself was not exempt—
we must therefore pay it. We had no other appeal.”

Mr. Judson’s Journal continues thus:—

First day of Burman
. All the members of government went to the
great pagoda, and took the oath of allegiance to the
new king.
At night a large company came in—all disposed
to condemn and ridicule, and persecute—influenced
by one very virulent opposer, who has been here
before. When the storm was gathering, Moung Nau
withdrew. A most trying time, chiefly rendered so,
by its being an indication of the spirit which generally
prevails among this people, though commonly restrained
by politeness, and which, we fear, may issue
in something worse, and more to be dreaded, than our
own personal inconvenience and persecution.
Heard, at the same time, that several of the
people who live about us, and commonly attend
worship, had privately gone to the pagoda, and made
an offering. All these circumstances conspire to make
us feel desolate, and put our trust in God alone.
Some pleasant conversation with
Moung Thahlah. Seldom a day passes, in which he
does not spend an hour or two with me or Moung
. This man is rather superior to the common
Burmans, in point of abilities, and though not very H3v 150
learned, he has read much more than the generality.
He is much superior to any one resident on our
premises; and, if converted, would be a valuable
acquisition to the mission.
Company all day. Moung E, whose
name I have not yet mentioned, though he has made
several visits, broke through his usual reserve, and
acknowledged his love for this religion, and thought
he should become a disciple, and not return to Savoy,
whence he lately came on some government business.
Moung Thalah appears to be really earnest in his
desires to become a disciple of Christ. His sister, Ma
, who was lately drawn into a high quarrel with a
neighbour, expresses much sorrow, and says that the
circumstance has convinced her, more than ever, of
the evil of her heart, and the necessity of getting a new
nature before she can be a disciple.
Much encouraged by the events of the day. The
Lord can bless the feeblest means, the most unworthy
instruments. Praised be his name.
The sixth anniversary of the commencement
of the mission.
Discoursed on INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that regMe is unmatched.Matt. vii.13.
concerning the broad way to destruction, and the narrow
way to life; the hearers considerably attentive.
To-day our viceroy has returned to Rangoon, being
forbidden to proceed to Ava, before taking the oath of
allegiance to the new King.
Had some particular conversation with
Moung Thalah on his spiritual state. He says, that
the more he reads and hears of the Christian religion,
the more inclined he becomes to believe and embrace
it; but fears that his weakness and sinfulness incapacitate H4r 151
him for keeping its holy precepts, as it becomes
a professing disciple.
Finished revising the tract for a new edition.
Have considerably enlarged it, particularly by
adding several prayers; so that it now stands, A view
of the Christian Religion, in four parts, Historical,
Practical, Preceptive, and Devotional
. We intend
sending the manuscript to Serampore, with a request to
brother Hough, that he will get it printed, in a large
edition of five thousand copies. The first edition of
one thousand is nearly exhausted. Such indeed is the
demand for it, since the opening of the Zayat, that we
should have given away all the copies long ago, had
we not been doubtful about a fresh supply.
Had several attentive visitors; one of
them staid two hours, and appeared very unwilling to
leave. His mild manners and apparent openness of
heart, tended to heighten my desires and stimulate my
prayers, for the salvation of his precious soul.
Several respectable and
wealthy people present at worship. One of them visited
me several months ago, and received a tract.
Since then, he has thought much, and conversed with
some of his friends about the new religion. Yesterday,
he sent word he was coming to worship, with several
others. He was rather reserved to-day, and said
but little; yet sufficient to show that he has imbibed
some new notions, which, whether they issue in conversion
or not, will, I trust, prevent his ever settling
down in his old system. His name is Oo Yah.
The family of the old gentleman of
yesterday, came to see Mrs. Judson, saying, that their
father had sent them to listen to the instructions of H4v 152
the female teacher. They appear to be one of the
most civilized families we have met with; behaved
with much politeness and respect, and begged leave to
come again.
Several neighbours of Oo Yah spent
some time at the Zayat, and listened attentively.
Brother Wheelock embarked for
Bengal; but in so low a state, that we fear the voyage,
instead of being beneficial, will tend to shorten his life.
Several strangers present
at worship—a larger assembly than usual.
Had more company than for a fortnight
past. Very little intermission through the day.
Just at night, three strangers came in, and listened
with remarkable attention. They appeared to be particularly
impressed with the value of a happy immortality,
as far superior to any thing which the Burman
system can offer, and also with the love of Christ, as
far surpassing all other love.
Several Mahometans came in, having
heard, as they said, that I denounced all religions but
the Christian. We had a long debate on the Divine
Sonship of Jesus Christ. At first it was very offensive
to them; but when the doctrine of the Trinity was
explained to them, they had no other objection to make,
but that the Koran denied that God had a Son. They
appeared to be somewhat desirous of knowing what is
truth; said they should come again, and must either
convert me to Mahometanism, or themselves become
converted to Christianity. I discovered afterwards, that
one of them was a priest; but he kept in the back
ground, and said nothing.
Have not lately mentioned Moung H5r 153
, though he has continued to visit me regularly.
To-day I had a conversation with him, which almost
settled my mind that he is really a renewed man. He,
however, thinks he is not, because he finds his heart so
depraved, that he cannot perfectly keep the pure commands
of Christ.
Two of the adherents of
the Mangen teacher, the popular preacher whom I
mentioned some time ago, were present at worship.
I had much conversation with them; in the course of
which, I so clearly refuted their system, in two or three
instances, that they could not refrain from an involuntary
expression of assent and approbation. They directly
said, however, that it was impossible for them
to think of embracing a new religion. I never saw
more clearly the truth of our Saviour’s words, ‘Ye
will not come unto me’
After worship, had another conversation with
Moung Thalah. He hopes that he is a disciple of Jesus
in heart; but wants to know whether a profession
of religion is indispensable to salvation. He fears
the persecution that may hereafter come on those who
forsake the established religion of the empire. I gave
him such explanation as I thought suitable, and left
him, with the solemn consideration, that unless he
loved Christ above his own life, he did not love him
sincerely, and ought not to hope that he is interested
in his redemption.
His sister, Ma Baik, is in a very similar state.
She has been particularly attentive and solemn in her
appearance for some time past.
In such cases, it is a great consolation to reflect,
that the tender, compassionate Saviour, will not break H5 H5v 154
the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking taper. He
will strengthen and restore the one, and the other he
will light up with his own celestial fire.
Another conversation with Moung
, which at length forces me to admit the conviction
that he is a real convert; and I venture to set
him down the second disciple of Christ among the
Burmans. He appears to have all the characteristics
of a new-born soul, and though rather timid in regard
to an open profession, has, I feel satisfied, that love to
Christ, which will increase and bring him forward in
due time.
Was visited by Moung Shway-gnong,
a teacher of considerable distinction. He appears to
be half deist and half sceptic, the first of the sort I
have met with among the Burmans. He, however,
worships at the pagodas, and conforms to all the prevailing
customs. We had a very interesting debate, in
which we cleared up some preliminaries, preparatory, I
hope, to future discussions.
Just at night, the viceroy, returning from an excursion
of pleasure, passed by our road, for the first time
since the Zayat was built. He was seated on a huge
elephant, attended by his guards and numerous suite,
and, as he passed, eyed us very narrowly. Several
Burmans were sitting round me and Mrs. Judson.
After he had passed some time, two of his private
secretaries came in, with viceregal order, signifying
his highness’s desire to see the manner in which printing
is executed. I replied, that the teacher who understood
printing had gone to Bengal, taking the types
with him and that it was impossible to comply with
the order. They departed with evident dissatisfaction.
H6r 155 In order to obviate the bad effects
of the report of the officers of yesterday, I went to the
government-house, intending to have a personal interview
with the viceroy. After waiting two hours in
the levee hall, he made his appearance, and, on recognizing
me, immediately inquired about the press and
types. I told him my story, and when he understood
that I was ignorant of the art of printing, he appeared
satisfied to let the matter rest. In the course of the few
words which passed between us, he said, that he wished
to get several Burman books printed. He seemed to
be more kindly disposed towards me than formerly;
but it seems impossible to introduce the subject of
religion in his presence, surrounded, as he always is,
with a crowd of courtiers and secretaries, petitioners,
and lawyers.
Had but just returned home, when the teacher
Moung Shway-gnong, came again, and staid from
noon till quite dark. We conversed incessantly the
whole time; but I fear that no real impression is
made on his proud sceptical heart. He, however,
promised to pray to the eternal God, through Jesus
, and appeared, at times, to be in deep thought.
He is a man of very superior argumentative powers. His
conversation would probably shake the faith of many.
A great deal of company all day
long. Quite worn out with incessant toil.
At night, the viceroy again passed, as the day before
yesterday; and the same secretaries came in,
saying, that it was the viceroy’s desire, that I should
translate, and get printed, if possible, some historical
writings of my country. I told them I would take
the first opportunity of calling on his highness.
H6v 156 A man, by name Moung Ing has
visited the Zayat five or six days in succession. At
first, a variety of other company prevented my attending
much to him, and he conversed chiefly with
Moung Nau, and employed himself in reading St.
. He once told Moung Nau, that he had
long been looking after the true religion, and was
ready to wish that he had been born a brute rather
than to die in delusion, and go to hell. Sunday, I
conversed with him largely, and his attention, during
worship, was very close and solemn. To-day, he has
made me half inclined to believe that a work of grace
is begun in his soul. He says, that he formerly had
some idea of an eternal God, from his mother, who
was christened a Roman Catholic, in consequence of
her connexion with a foreigner; but that the idea
was never rooted in his mind, until he fell in with
the Zayat. Within a few days, he has begun to pray
to this God. He is quite sensible of his sins, and of
the utter inefficiency of the Boodhist religion; but is
yet in the dark concerning the way of salvation, and
says, that he wants to know more of Christ, that he
may love him more. Lord Jesus give him the saving
knowledge of thine adorable self!
Moung Thalah continues to express
similar sentiments to those already noted; is
still afraid of persecution and death; but professes to
be labouring to obtain that love to Christ, and faith in
him, which will raise him above the fear of man;
and particularly requests us to pray that he may obtain
these graces.
A great crowd of company
through the whole day; the teacher, Moung Shway- H7r 157
, from ten o’clock till quite dark, with several
of his adherents. He is a complete Proteus in religion,
and I never know where to find him. We went over a
vast deal of ground, and ended where we began, in apparent
incredulity. After his adherents, however,
were all gone, he conversed with some feeling; owned
that he knew nothing, and wished me to instruct him;
and when he departed, he prostrated himself and performed
the sheeko, This act gave rise to the first gleam of hope, that Divine
truth had begun to operate on his mind.
an act of homage which a Burman
never performs but to an acknowledged superior.
After he was gone, Moung Ing, who had been
listening all the day, followed me home to the house,
being invited to stay with Moung Nau, through the
night. We conversed all the evening, and his expressions
have satisfied us all, that he is one of God’s
chosen people. His exercises have been of a much
stronger character than those of the others, and he
expresses himself in the most decided manner. He
desires to become a disciple in profession, as well as
in heart, and declares his readiness to suffer persecution
and death for the love of Christ. When I
stated the danger to which he was exposing himself,
and asked him whether he loved Christ better than his
own life? he replied, very deliberately and solemnly,
‘When I meditate on this religion, I know not what
it is to love my own life.’
Thus the poor fisherman,
Moung Ing, is taken, while the learned teacher,
Moung Shway-gnong, is left.
A very dull day—not
one stranger present at worship. In the evening, H7v 158
Moung Thahlah was a spectator of our partaking of the
Lord’s supper. Moung Ing could not be present.
He lives at some distance, and is getting ready to go
to sea, in pursuance of his purpose before he became
acquainted with us. We have endeavoured to
dissuade him from going, and to keep him near us;
but we are afraid that his circumstances will not
allow him to comply with our advice and his own
Spent the evening in conversing
with Moung Byaay, a man who, with his family has
lived near us for some time, a regular attendant on
worship, an indefatigable scholar in the evening
school, where he has learned to read, though fifty
years old; and a remarkably moral character. In my
last conversation, some time ago, he appeared to be a
thorough legalist, relying solely on his good works;
but yet sincerely desirous of knowing and embracing
the truth. The greater part of the evening was spent
in discussing his erroneous views; his mind seemed
so dark and dull of apprehension, that I was almost
discouraged. Towards the close, however, he seemed
to obtain some evangelical discoveries, and to receive
the humbling truths of the gospel, in a manner which
encourages us to hope that the Spirit of God has begun
to teach him. The occasion of this conversation
was my hearing that he said he intended to become a
Christian, and to be baptized with Moung Thahlah.
He accordingly professes a full belief in the eternal
God, and his Son Jesus Christ.
A visit from Moung Ing. It appears
that he has been confined at work, on board the
vessel in which he is engaged, and has not been ashore H8r 159
for several days. As the vessel is certainly going tomorrow,
he got leave of absence for a short time, and
improved it in running out to the Zayat. I was exceedingly
glad, as it afforded me an opportunity of
giving him some parting instructions, and praying
with him alone. He appears very well indeed. He is
quite distressed that he has so far engaged himself;
and appears desirous of getting off, and returning to
us, if possible; but I have very little hope of his succeeding.
I believe, however, that he is a real Christian,
and that, whenever he dies, his immortal soul
will be safe, and that he will praise God for ever for
his transient acquaintance with us. The Lord go with
him and keep him.
Moung Shway-gnong has been
with me all day. It appears that he accidentally obtained
the idea of an eternal Being, about eight years
ago; and it has been floating about in his mind, and
disturbing his Boodhist ideas ever since. When he
heard of us, which was through one of his adherents,
to whom I had given a tract, this idea received considerable
confirmation; and to-day he has fully admitted
the truth of this first grand principle. The latter part
of the day we were chiefly employed in discussing the
possibility and necessity of a Divine revelation; and I think
I may say, that he is half inclined to admit all this.
His is certainly a most interesting case. The way
seems to be prepared in his mind for the special operation
of Divine grace.
His conversion seems peculiarly desirable, on
account of his superior talents and extensive acquaintance H8v 160
with Burman and Pali literature. He is the most
powerful reasoner I have yet met with in this country,
excepting my old teacher, Oo Oungmen, (now dead)
and he is not at all inferior to him.
Moung Thalah spent the evening
with me, in asking several questions on difficult
passages in St. Matthew. At the close, I asked him
whether he yet loved Christ more than his own life?
he understood my meaning, and replied, that he purposed
to profess the Christian religion, and began to
think seriously of being baptized. His sister, Ma
, appears to have lost her religious impressions.
After having lately made two
unsuccessful attempts to get an interview with the
viceroy, I this day succeeded. He inquired about the
historical writings. I told him I was not so well acquainted
with that style of writing in Burman, as with
the religious style, and then presented him with a
tract, as a specimen of what I could do. He delivered
it to a secretary; and on hearing the first sentence,
remarked that it was the same with a writing he had
already heard, and that he did not want that kind of
. I suppose that one of the secretaries, to whom
I had formerly given a tract, presented it without my
Moung Shway-gnong has been
with me a few hours; had spent the greater part of
the day with Oo Yah, the merchant whom I mentioned
some time ago, conversing on religion. Our
interview chiefly passed in discussing his metaphysical
The teacher and Oo
came to worship according to their agreement of H9r 161
yesterday, accompanied with part of the family of the latter,
and several respectable men of their acquaintance;
so that the assembly consisted of about fifty. Some
paid profound attention, and some none at all. After
the exercises, Oo Yah seemed afraid to have it appear
that he had any acquaintance with me, and kept at a
distance. They finally all dropt away but the teacher,
who stayed, as usual, till quite dark. He is, in many
respects, a perfect enigma; but just before he left, a
slight hope began to spring up in our minds, that his
proud heart was yielding to the cross. He confessed
that he was constrained to give up all dependance on
his own merits and his literary attainments; that he
had sinned against God all his life long, and that,
therefore, he deserved to suffer hell. And then he
asked, with some feeling, how he could obtain an
interest in the merits and salvation of Jesus Christ?
He appears to have a considerable share of that serious
solemnity which I have observed to characterize the
few who persevere in their religious inquiries, and
which has been wanting in every instance of mere
temporary promise. O, that he may be brought in, if
it is not too great a favour for this infant mission to
One of the three visitors of the
1819-08-1919th of August, came again; and, though a long interval
has elapsed, his appearance is quite encouraging.
He says, feelingly, that he knows nothing, is distressed
at the thought of dying, in his present ignorance and
uncertainty, and wants to find some kind of salvation.
Moung Shway-gnong
came with several adherents. Some warm conversation H9v 162
before worship, but nothing personal. During
worship, discoursed from ‘Fear not them that kill the
&c. My discourse was chiefly intended for
Moung Thahlah and Moung Byaay; but the latter
was absent, on account of sickness. After worship
the teacher immediately departed with his people,
without even saying a word. Fear he has taken some
Conversation with Moung Thahlah
and Moung Byaay, which revives my hopes of their
coming forward before long. They are both growing
in religious knowledge, and give evidence of being in
the exercise of gracious feelings.
Was rejoiced in the morning, to see
the teacher, Moung Shway-gnong, come again so
soon. We spent the whole day together, uninterrupted
by other company. In the forenoon, he was
as crabbed as possible—sometimes a Berkleian—sometimes
a Humite, or complete sceptic. But in the afternoon
he got to be more reasonable, and before he left,
he obtained a more complete idea of the atonement
than I have commonly been able to communicate to a
Burman. He exclaimed, ‘That is suitable—that is as
it should be,’
&c. But whether this conviction resulted
from a mere philosophic view of the propriety and
adaptedness of the way of salvation, through Jesus
, or from the gracious operations of the Holy
Spirit, time must discover. I hardly venture to hope
the latter. O Lord, the work is thine.
Have for some days been wondering
at the long absence of the teacher. To-day heard
a report that he has been summoned by the viceroy to
give an account of his heretical sentiments.
At night, Moung Thahlah and Moung Byaay presented
a paper, professing their faith in Jesus Christ,
and requesting to be baptized—but in private. We
spent some time with them. They appear to have
experienced Divine grace; but we advised them,
as they had so little love to Christ as not to dare
to die for his cause, to wait and reconsider the
The teacher came again, after an
interval of three weeks; but he appears to be quite
another man. He has not been personally summoned,
as we heard; but through the instigation of the
Mangen teacher, he was mentioned before the viceroy,
as having renounced the religion of the country. The
viceroy gave no decisive order; but merely said, ‘Inquire
further about him.’
This reached the ears of
Moung Shway-gnong, and he directly went to the
Mangen teacher, and, I suppose, apologized, and explained,
and flattered. He denies that he really recanted,
and I hope he did not. But he is evidently
falling off from the investigation of the Christian religion.
He made but a short visit, and took leave as
soon as he could decently.
One of the greatest festivals in
the year. The crowds are truly immense and overwhelming.
We vacated the Zayat, as we have several
days, of late, began to question whether it is prudent
to go on boldly, in proclaiming a new religion, at the
hazard of incensing the government, and drawing
down such persecution, as may deter all who know us
from any inquiry.
This is the birth-day and the coronation-day
of the new king. All the grandees of the H10v 164
empire have been for some time past been assembling at
Ava, to be present at the august celebration.
The two candidates for baptism
again presented their urgent petition, that they might
be baptized, not absolutely in private, but about sunset,
away from public observation. We spent some
hours in again discussing the subject with them and
with one another. We felt satisfied that they were
humble disciples of Jesus, and were desirous of receiving
this ordinance purely out of regard to his command,
and their own spiritual welfare; we felt that
we were all equally exposed to danger, and needed a
spirit of mutual candour and forbearance and sympathy;
we were convinced that they were influenced
rather by desires of avoiding unnecessary exposure,
than by that sinful fear, which would plunge them
into apostacy, in the hour of trial; and when they
assured us, that if actually brought before government,
they could not think of denying their Saviour, we
could not conscientiously refuse their request, and
therefore agreed to have them baptized to-morrow at
sunset. The following is a literal translation of the
paper presented this evening:—
‘Moung Byaay and Moung Thahlah venture to
address the two teachers:—Though the country of
Burmah is very far distant from the country of America,
yet the teachers coming by ship, the long way of
six months, have arrived at this far distant country of
Burmah, and town of Rangoon, and proclaimed the
propitious news, by means of which we, having become
acquainted with the religion, know that there is
an eternal God in heaven, and that there is a Divine
Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, deserving of the highest H11r 165
love; and we know that the Lord Jesus Christ, the
Divine Son, endured on account of all his disciples,
sufferings and death, even severe sufferings on a cross,
in their stead. On account of our sins, we were like
persons laden with a very heavy burden. On account
of our many sins, we found no deliverance, no place
of refuge, and our minds were distressed. In this
state remaining, the two teachers produced the sacred
system from the Scriptures, and we became informed
of the existence of the one God; and of the facts,
that the Divine Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, redeemed
with his sacred life all who love and trust in him, and
in order to save his disciples from hell suffered death
in their stead. Now we know, that we have sinned
against the sacred One, and we know, assuredly, that
if we become the disciples of the Divine Son, the
Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved from the hell
which we deserve. We desire to become disciples,
and with the two teachers, like children born of the
same mother, to worship the true God, and observe
the true religion.
On searching in the scriptures, for ancient rules
and customs, it does not appear that John and other
baptizers administered baptism on any particular time,
or day, or hour. We, therefore, venture to beg of the
two teachers, that they will grant, on the 6th day of
the wane of the Tanzoungmong moon (1819-11-07Nov. 7th) at
six o’clock at night, we may this once receive baptism
at their hands.’
We had worship as
usual, and the people dispersed. About half an hour
before sunset the two candidates came to the Zayat,
accompanied by three or four of their friends; and, H11v 166
after a short prayer, we proceeded to the spot, where
Moung Nau was formerly baptized. The sun was not
allowed to look upon the humble, timid profession.
No wondering crowd crowned the overshadowing bill.
No hymn of praise expressed the exultant feelings of
joyous hearts. Stillness and solemnity pervaded the
scene. We felt, on the banks of the water, as a little,
feeble, solitary band. But perhaps some hovering
angels took note of the event, with more interest than
they witnessed the late coronation; perhaps Jesus
looked down on us, pitied and forgave our weaknesses,
and marked us for his own; perhaps, if we deny him
not, he will acknowledge us another day, more publicly
than we venture at present to acknowledge him.
In the evening, we all united in commemorating
the dying love of the our Redeemer; and I trust we
enjoyed a little of his gracious presence in the midst
of us.
This evening is to be marked as
the date of the first Burman prayer meeting that was ever
held. None present but myself and the three converts.
Two of them made a little beginning, such as may be
expected from the first essay of converted heathens.
We agreed to meet for this purpose every Tuesday
and Friday evening, immediately after family worship,
which in the evening has for some time been conducted
in Burman and English, and which these people, and
occasionally some others, have attended.
Have been much gratified
to find, that this evening the three converts
repaired to the zayat, and held a prayer meeting
of their own accord
On taking our usual ride, this H12r 167
morning, to bathe in the mineral tank, we were accosted
on one of the pagoda roads, by the Mangen
teacher, and peremptorily forbidden to ride there in
future on pain of being beaten. On our return we
inquired into the affair, and find that the viceroy has
really issued an order, at the instigation of this teacher,
that henceforth no person wearing a hat, shoes, or
umbrella, or mounted on a horse, shall approach
within the sacred ground belonging to the great pagoda,
which ground extends, on some sides, half a
mile, and comprises all the principal roads: so that in
future we must take a circuitous route in the woods,
if we wish to visit our usual place of resort. This
consideration, however, is very trifling, compared with
another. The viceroy’s order is quite unprecedented in
Rangoon, and indicates a state of feeling, on the subject
of religion, very unfavourable to our missionary
designs. Since the death of the old king, who was
known to be in heart hostile to religion, people have
been more engaged than ever, in building pagodas,
making sacred offerings, and performing the public
duties of their religion. They are just now engaged
in new gilding the great pagoda, called Shwaay Dagon,
which is considered the most sacred in the country,
on account of its containing six or eight hairs of
Ever since the affair of Moung Shway-gnong,
there has been an entire falling off at the Zayat. I
sometimes sit there whole days, without a single visitor,
though it is the finest part of the year, and
many are constantly passing. We and our object are
now well known throughout Rangoon. None wish to
call, as formerly, out of curiosity; and none dare to H12v 168
call from a principle of religious inquiry. And were
not the leaders in ecclesiastical affairs confident that
we shall never succeed in making converts, I have no
doubt we should meet with direct persecution and
Our business must be fairly laid before the
emperor. If he frowns upon us, all missionary attempts
within his dominions will be out of the question.
If he favours us, none of our enemies, during
the continuance of his favour, can touch a hair of our
heads. But there is a greater than the emperor, before
whose throne we desire daily and constantly to
lay the business. Oh! Lord Jesus, look upon us in
our low estate, and guide us in our dangerous course!
Moung Shway-gnong has been
with us the greater part of the day, and a little revived
our hopes concerning him.
This day brother Colman and
myself came to a final decision to proceed to Ava
without delay, and lay our business before the emperor.
Letters from Bengal and America;
the first for six months. Learnt the particulars
of the melancholy end of our lamented brother Wheelock.
The news of his death reached us some time
ago. The tract which we forwarded is not yet
printed; a circumstance which occasions us much
regret, as we hoped to have obtained some copies to
carry up to Ava.
Another visit from Moung Shwaygnong.
After several hours spent in metaphysical
cavils, he owned that he did not believe any thing that
he had said, and had only been trying me and the religion, I1r 169
being determined to embrace nothing, but
what he found unobjectionable and impregnable.
‘What (said he), do you think that I would pay you
the least attention, if I found you could not answer
all my questions, and solve all my difficulties?’
then proceeded to say, that he really believed in God,
his Son Jesus Christ, the atonement, &c. Said I
(knowing his deistical weakness), ‘Do you believe all
that is contained in the book of St. Matthew, that I
have given you? In particular, do you believe that
the Son of God died on a cross?’
‘Ah(replied he),
you have caught me now. I believe that he suffered
death; but I cannot admit that he suffered the shameful
death of the cross.’
‘Therefore (said I), you are
not a disciple of Christ. A true disciple inquires not
whether a fact is agreeable to his own reason, but
whether it is in the book. His pride has yielded to
the Divine testimony. Teacher, your pride is still
unbroken. Break down your pride, and yield to the
word of God.’
He stopt, and thought. ‘As you
utter these words (said he), I see my error: I have
been trusting in my own reason, not in the word of
Some interruption now occurred. When we
were again alone, he said, ‘This day is different from
all the days on which I have visited you. I see my
error in trusting in my own reason; and I now believe
the crucifixion of Christ, because it is contained in
the Scripture.’
Some time after, speaking of the uncertainty
of life, he said, he thought he should not be
lost, though he died suddenly. Why? ‘Because I
love Jesus Christ.’
Do you really love him? ‘No
one that really knows him, can help loving him.’
so he departed.
I I1v 170 A few days ago we succeeded in
purchasing a boat for the journey to Ava, after having
spent a whole week in search. Have since been
employing workmen to cover it, and put it in order.
Yesterday we applied to the viceroy for a pass to
go up to the golden feet, and lift up our eyes to the
golden face! He granted our request in very polite
I must now close up my journal to be sent on
board ship to-morrow morning. We expect to leave
Rangoon in about a week. My next will probably
contain some account of our journey up the river,
and our reception at court. O Lord, send now prosperity;
yet not my will, but thine be done!”

I remain, my dear Sir,
Very affectionately and respectfully,

A. H. J.

Letter XI.

My dear sir,

You perceive that we were not allowed to proceed
long in the use of those means, which presented the
fairest prospect for the rapid success of the gospel in
the Burman empire. Christians, living under Christian
governments, cannot imagine the terror and alarm
infused into the mind of a Burman, at the idea of
coming into contact with any person invested with authority.
The Zayat had been visited by thousands, I2r 171
many had been induced to examine seriously the
Christian religion, and a universal spirit of inquiry
had been excited; yet when it was rumoured abroad
that this single sentence, “Inquire further,” had proceeded
from the lips of the viceroy, on the accusation
of the teacher, all, with one accord, forsook us, and
passed on, without venturing to look at their former
place of resort. In this situation, our work had apparently
come to a stand. One course only remained
to be pursued, that of presenting a petition for toleration
to the emperor. The result will be seen from
Mr. Judson’s journal, which shall be continued, after
the insertion of a letter, describing the evening
school, a short time before established, and the Burman
method of instructing in the first rudiments of reading:

In school. I have
just been round to all the scholars, one by one, to
hear them read their lessons, and am now going to
spend the remaining hour, while the Burman teacher
looks over them, in writing to you. How curious
would the sounds, kwa kwaa, kwe kwee, kwo, kwoo,
&c. which are now ringing in my ears, sound in yours!
Yet, uncouth as they would appear to you, or as they
did, at first, to me, they have now become musical,
and when considered as introductory to an acquaintance
with the word of God, are productive of most
pleasant sensations. But, in order that you may see
me, just as I am situated, I will be a little particular
in describing the school. The Zayat, in which it is
kept, is situated thirty or forty rods from the missionhouse,
and in dimensions is twenty-seven by eighteen
feet. It is raised four feet from the ground, and is
divided into three parts. The first division is laid entirelyI2 I2v 172
open to the road, without doors, windows, or a
partition in the front side, and takes up a third part of
the whole building. It is made of bamboo and thatch,
and is the place where Mr. Judson sits all the day
long, and says to the passers by, ‘Ho! every one
that thirsteth,’
&c. The next, and middle division, is
a large airy room, with four doors and four windows,
opening in opposite directions, made entirely of boards,
and is white-washed, to dinstinguish it from the other
Zayats around us.
In this room, we have public worship in Burman
on the Sabbath; and, in the middle of it I am now
situated at my writing-table, while six of the male
scholars are at one end, each with his torch and black
board, over which he is industriously bending, and
emitting the sounds above described. The third, and
last division, is only an entry way, which opens into
the garden, leading to the mission-house.
In this apartment all the women are seated, with
their lights and black boards, much in the same position
and employment as the men. The black boards on
which all the Burmans learn to read and write, answer
the same purpose as our slates. They are about a yard
in length, made black with charcoal and the juice of a
leaf, and letters are clearly imprinted with a species of
white stone, a little similar to our slate pencils. A lesson
is written out on this board by an instructor, and when
a scholar is perfect master of it, it is erased, and a
new one written. The Burmans are truly systematic
in their elementary instructions, and a scholar is not
considered qualified to read without spelling, until he
has a perfect knowledge if all the various combinations
of the letters.
I3r 173 When I wrote the above, I intended
writing a little every evening; but my time has been
so completely occupied, during this last month, together
with the increasing weakness of my eyes, that I have
not found an hour’s leisure, until this evening. Our
school is getting on well, though in number it has
diminished rather than increased. Two of the scholars,
who began with their letters, are now reading without
spelling; and it is a truth, which affords no little
satisfaction, that their knowledge of letters is first
employed in reading a catechism, concerning the
eternal God, and his Son Jesus Christ, of whom they
never heard, till they met with us. Thus they will
insensibly obtain ideas of their Creator, and ever, in
after life, associate the ideas of religion and reading.
We begin to see the word of God taking effect around
us. The Burmans now believe that we have come
here to do them good, and seek their advantage. During
four or five years, they supposed, notwithstanding
our assertions to the contrary, that we had come
here merely to obtain their wisdom, and to return to
our native country, to communicate it to others. But
seeing, after we had acquired their language, that
instead of returning, we built a place for public worship,
in which Mr. Judson spends all his time in preaching
the new religion, they changed their opinion;
and some of them acknowledge that it must be a singular
religion, and one worthy of attention, to produce
such effects. Three Burmans now give good
evidence of being real Christians, though only one has
been baptized. Two or three others give us much
encouragement, and we hope will prove to be real
Christians. Moung Nau, I mentioned, in my last I3v 174
letter, as being the first Burman convert. Moung
has been serious for a long time, and has, of
late, given us reason to hope that he is a true Christian.
He is an amiable young man, and considerably
superior to the common Burmans. The love of
Christ, in dying for sinners, appears to have deeply
impressed his mind, and he speaks of it with much
feeling. He says, ‘The love of Christ is no common
love. Besides Jesus, I see no way of salvation.’
has a clear and distinct understanding of the way of
salvation by Christ, reads the Testament much, and
unties with us, daily, in family worship, which is conducted
both in English and Burman. It is very animating
to see the solemnity of these two Burmans,
when they come to worship; and we often feel, that if
we see no further success, we are amply recompensed
for the years of darkness and anxiety, which we have
passed here.
Mr. and Mrs. Colman are still with us; the only
two, out of the six, who have joined us since we
have lived in Rangoon. We are very happy in their
society. They are entirely devoted to the work of
the mission, and make every thing subservient to its
promotion and prosperity. They apply closely to the
study of the language, in which they have made great
proficiency. We esteem it a peculiar favour in Providence,
that our only remaining associates, and,
indeed, our only society in Rangoon, should, in
every respect, be of the right stamp. Our mission,
on the whole, is in a more prosperous state than
we have hardly dared to hope it ever would be,
under this capricious government. We trust a
little vine is here planted, which is so enclosed and I4r 175
hedged by the protecting care of the Vine-dresser, as
to prevent its destruction by the wild beasts of the
We have two or three interesting inquirers, who,
we hope, will finally be brought to a saving knowledge
of the truth. But we want more labourers, who are
already qualified to enter on this work. Mr. Judson
not only finds his hands full, but abundantly more
employment than he is able to perform. His eyes and
head, of late, have been considerably affected, which
prevents his going on with the translation of the
Scriptures as he intended.
We have had the inexpressible
pleasure of witnessing the baptism of two Burmans,
since my last date, who gave good evidence of being
true Christians. One is Moung Thahlah, whom I
have mentioned above, and the other is the oldest
member of the school, by Moung Byaay. He
has been indefatigable in learning to read, though the
only spare time he had was in the evening, after he
had been working hard through the day. The first
thing he began to read, without spelling, was the
catechism, which he committed to memory as he
read. He soon began to inquire more particularly
concerning the religion of Christ, and manifested an
ardent desire to become a true disciple. We trust his
inquiries have issued in a saving knowledge of the
truth. The two last mentioned disciples were baptized
rather privately, on account of the general
alarm which has prevailed of late among our acquaintance.
But, instead of wondering that they
were desirous of being baptized in private, we felt
that it was a strong evidence in their favour, that I4v 176
they should desire baptism at all, under existing circumstances.
Our three Burman converts now have a prayermeeting
among themselves, every Sabbath evening,
besides uniting with Mr. Judson twice in a week,
and with us all every day in family worship.
Their appearance is so different from common
Burmans that we are led to exclaim, ‘What hath God
Mr. Judson has written to the Board a particular
account of the persecuting spirit, which has, of late,
been manifested. We feel more for our converts than
we do for ourselves, as they would be the first to feel
the effects of a tyrannical, despotic government.
Situated as we now are, you will readily imagine
we feel the necessity of committing ourselves and this
infant church into the hands of our heavenly Father,
and of waiting his guidance and direction. The adversary
of souls could not patiently see us going on
prosperously, without making a struggle to overthrow
us. But how much he will be able to effect, is known
only to Him, who is our guardian and protector, and
who will restrain the remainder of that wrath, which
will not redound to his own glory.
We have lately been obliged to shut up the Zayat
altogether, and all our inquirers have forsaken us,
except one, a very learned man, who still visits us,
though rather privately. A spirit of persecution has
begun to manifest itself, and so alarmed all our acquaintance,
that they have quite discontinued their
visits. This falling off at the Zayat has determined
Mr. Judson to make the only and last attempt, that of
presenting a memorial to the young king. We are I5r 177
now all engaged in making preparations for the journey.
Brother Colman accompanies Mr. Judson. Mrs.
and myself remain in Rangoon. I felt very
desirous of going, as the lady of the old viceroy, who
is my particular friend, is now at Ava, and would
give me a very favourable reception. Her husband is
next in rank to the king, and has the management of
all the affairs of the kingdom. But Mr. Judson
thinks it too hazardous an undertaking, as no foreign
female has ever yet appeared at the Burman court.
What will be the result of this expedition, we leave
for God to determine, on whom alone we depend, and
to whom alone we look for success. If he is now
about to introduce the gospel into this country, he will
incline the king to give us free toleration; but if he
has work to do for us elsewhere, we desire to submit,
and acquiesce in his sovereign will. It is now an
important crisis in the mission. O, that Christians in
America, would, with one united voice, plead with
God, that these perishing millions may not be lost,
by putting far away from them the words of eternal
life. We trust we have some sense of the greatness
of this undertaking, and of the importance of being
spiritual, and heavenly minded.”

Extracts from Mr. Judson’s Journal.

We were much gratified
at seeing the tutor, Moung Shway-nong, at worship,
for the first time since he was accused before
the viceroy. The news of our intended expedition to
Ava, has probably emboldened him. We proposed his
accompanying us, but he declined.
I5 I5v 178 Have spent all the
past week in making preparations for our journey.
Had worship for the
last time. Disappointed in not seeing the teacher;
but the disappointment somewhat alleviated by the
attendance of one of his acquaintance, an elderly
man, by name Oo Yan, by profession a doctor, who
listened with the strictest attention, and, in his subsequent
conversation, discovered a truly inquisitive
After having made arrangements
for the residence of our families in town, during our
absence, brother Colman and myself embarked. Our
boat is six feet wide in the middle, and forty feet long.
A temporary deck of bamboos is laid throughout, and
on the hinder part of the boat, the sides are raised
with thin boards, and a covering of thatch and mats
tied on, so as to form two low rooms, in which we
can just sit, and lie down. Our company consists of
sixteen, besides ourselves—ten rowmen—a steersman
—a headman, whose name is inserted in our passport,
and who, therefore, derives a little authority from
government—a steward or cook for the company,
which place is filled by our trusty Moung Nau—our
own cook—a Hindoo washerman—an Englishman,
who has been unfortunate all his life, and wishes to
try the service of his Burman majesty; and this last
mentioned personage may be called our gunner, he
having charge of several guns and blunderbusses,
which are indispensable, on account of the robbers
that infest the river.
We have been much perplexed, in fixing on a
present for the emperor, without which no person unauthorized I6r 179
can appear in his presence. Our funds
were evidently inadequate to the purchase of articles
which would be valuable to him, in a pecuniary point
of view; when we considered also, that there ought
to be a congruity between the present and our character,
we selected that book, which we hope to be allowed
to translate under his patronage—the Bible, in six
volumes, covered with gold leaf, in Burman style,
and each volume enclosed in a rich wrapper. For
presents to other members of government, we have
taken several pieces of fine cloth, and other articles.
Thus manned and furnished, we pushed off from
the shores of Rangoon. The teacher, Moung Shwaygnong,
had not been to see us for several days,
ashamed probably of having declined accompanying
us; but just as we were pushing off we saw his tall
form standing on the wharf. He raised his hand to
his head, and bade us adieu, and continued looking
after the boat, until a projecting point shut Rangoon
and all its scenes from our view. When shall we redouble
this little point? Through what shall we
pass, ere the scene now snatched away be re-presented?
The expedition on which we have entered,
however it may terminate, is unavoidably fraught with
consequences momentous and solemn, beyond all conception.
We are penetrating into the heart of one of
the great kingdoms of the world, to make a formal
offer of the gospel to a despotic monarch, and through
him, to the millions of his subjects. May the Lord
accompany us, and crown our attempt with the desired
success, if it be consistent with his wise and
holy will!
At night, we moored by the bank of Kyee-myendaing. I6v 180
It was near this place that, a few days ago,
one of the boats belonging to Mr. G., late collector of
Rangoon, was attacked by robbers, and the steersman
and another man killed at a single shot. We felt unwilling
to remain at this village, but found it necessary.
We set off early in the morning,
and at noon reached Kyoon-oo, a cluster of villages,
near one of which, about twenty miles from Rangoon,
we remained the rest of the day.
Passed from the Rangoon outlet
into the great A-rah-wa-tee river, (vulgarly called
Irrawaddy,) and reached Ran-gen-tsen-yah, a village
twenty miles from Kyoon-oo.
On the 1819-12-2424th, passed Da-noo-byoo, and on the
1819-12-2626th, Hen-thah-dah, both large towns. Fresh reports
of robbers.
On the 1819-12-3030th, reached Kah-noung, a considerable
town, about ninety miles from Rangoon. Here we
met a special officer from Bassein, with a detachment
of men, sent in pursuit of a band of robbers, who
lately made a daring attack on a large boat, wounded
and beat off the people, and took plunder to the
amount of fifteen hundred ticals. The commander
offered us an escort for the journey of to-morrow,
which lies through a dangerous tract of country; but
we declined accepting it, as we should have been
obliged to give the people presents, without deriving
any substantial assistance in the hour of danger. Strict
watch all night.
Passed a remarkably high,
rocky mountain, the side of which, for a considerable
extent, is indented with numerous recesses, containing
images of Gaudama, all carved out of the solid rock.
I7r 181 Passed the large towns of Shwaydoung
and Pah-doung, on the opposite sides of the river,
and reached Pyee (vulgarly called Prome), one hundred
and twenty miles from Rangoon—a place of
great note in Burman history, and the seat of an
ancient dynasty of kings. The town itself is in a
state of dilapidation; but the environs apear flourishing.
Confirmed reports of a most daring robbery, committed
a little higher up, on the boat of the governor
of Taroke-man, who was going up to Ava, with about
fifty men and seven thousand ticals. The robbers
came down upon the people, while they were cooking
on shore, shot the governor through the body, and
carried off all the treasure. Feel the necessity of redoubling
our precautions for several days. Agree, that
part of us only leave the boat at a time—the rest to
stand by the guns.
Reached Pah-gan, a city celebrated
in Burman history; being, like Pyee, the seat
of a former dynasty. It is about two hundred and
sixty miles from Rangoon.
Took a survey of the splendid
pagodas, and extensive ruins, in the environs of this
once famous city. Ascended, as far as possible, some
of the highest edifices, and at the height of one hundred
feet, perhaps, beheld all the country round, covered
with temples and monuments of every sort and
size—some in utter ruin—some fast decaying—and
some exhibiting marks of recent attention and repair.
The remains of the ancient wall of the city stretched
beneath us. The pillars of the gates, and many a
grotesque, decapitated relic of antiquity, chequered I7v 182
the motley scene. All conspired to suggest those
elevated and mournful ideas, which are attendant on a
view of the decaying remains of ancient grandeur; and
though not comparable to such ruins as those of Palmyra,
and Balbec (as they are represented), still deeply
interesting to the antiquary, and more deeply interesting
to the Christian missionary. Here, about eight
hundred years ago, the religion of Boodh was first
publicly recognised, and established as the religion of
the empire. Here then Ah-rah-han, the first Boodhist
apostle of Burmah, under the patronage of king
Anan-ra-tha-men-zan, disseminated the doctrines of
atheism, and taught his disciples to pant after annihilation,
as the supreme good. Some of the ruins before
our eyes, were probably the remains of pagodas designed
by himself. We looked back on the centuries
of darkness that are passed. We look forward, and
Christian hope would fain brighten the prospect.—
Perhaps we stand on the dividing line of the empires
of darkness and light. O, shade of Shen Ah-rah-han!
weep o’er thy falling fanes; retire from the scenes of
thy past greatness. But thou smilest at my feeble
voice. Linger then, thy little remaining day. A voice
mightier than mine, a still small voice, will ere long
sweep away every vestige of thy dominion. The
churches of Jesus will soon supplant these idolatrous
monuments, and the changing of the devotees of Boodh
will die away before the Christian hymn of praise.
After leaving Pah-gan, the river turns to the east.
We walked across the point of land formed by the
curve of the river, and rejoined the boat at Nyoung-oo.
on the 1820-01-2020th we reached Gnah-hmyah-gnay, a solitary
and dangerous place, and moored under a little point I8r 183
of land. Late in the evening, a large boat, full of
men, suddenly turned the point, and bore down upon
us. Our headman warned them off; but they paid no
attention, and made no reply; on which he fired a gun
over them. They then called out to forbear, and
sheered off. The adventure quite indisposed us for
sleep. We planned anew the minutiæ of operation,
in case of attack, and kept a strict watch all night.
Passed the confluence of the Kyendon
and the A-rah-wah-tee, and proceeded up the
latter. The former is the smaller of the two, but it
is said to be navigable for large boats twenty days
distance from the confluence. It penetrates into the
Cassay country, which lies north of Burmah, and to
which thirty thousand troops have lately marched from
Ava, to quell a rebellion, occasioned by the accession
of the new emperor.
We are now beyond the region of the robbers,
and are allowed to sleep in comparative quiet.
Passed Old Ava, the seat of the
dynasty immediately preceding the present, and
Tsah-gaing, a place of some note, distinguished for
its innumerable pagodas, and the residence of one or
two late emperors; and about noon, drew up to
O-ding-mau, the lower landing-place of New Ava, or
Ahmarapoor, about three hundred and fifty miles from
Rangoon. At our present distance of nearly four
miles from the city, (and we cannot get nearer this
season,) it appears to the worst advantage. We can
hardly distinguish the golden steeple of the palace,
amid the glittering pagodas, whose summits just
suffice to mark the spot of our ultimate destination.
We set out early in the morning, I8v 184
called on Mr. G., late collector of Rangoon, and on
Mr. R., who was formerly collector, but is now out of
favour. Thence we entered the city, passed the
palace, and repaired to the house of Mya-day-men,
former viceroy of Rangoon, now one of the public
ministers of state (Woon-gyee). We gave him a
valuable present, and another of less value to his wife,
the lady who formerly treated Mrs. Judson with so
much politeness. They both received us very kindly,
and appeared to interest themselves in our success.
We however did not disclose our precise object; but
only petitioned leave to behold the golden face. Upon
this his highness committed our business to Moung
, one of his favourite officers, and directed him to
introduce us to Moung Zah, one of the private ministers
of state (A-twen-woon), with the necessary
orders. This particular favour of Mya-day-men prevents
the necessity of our petitioning and feeling all
the public ministers off state, and procuring formal
permission from the high court of the empire.
In the evening, Moung Yo, who lives near our
boat, called on us, to say that he would conduct us
to-morrow. We lie down in sleepless anxiety. To-
morrow’s dawn will usher in the most eventful day of
our lives. To-morrow’s eve will close on the bloom
or the blight of our fondest hopes. Yet it is consoling
to commit this business into the hands of our
heavenly Father,—to feel that the work is His, not
ours; that the heart of the monarch, before whom we
are to appear, is under the controul of Omnipotence;
and that the event will be ordered in the manner most
conducive to the divine glory and the greatest good.
God may, for the wisest purposes, suffer our hopes to I9r 185
be disappointed; and if so, why should short-sighted,
mortal man repine? Thy will, O God, be ever done;
for thy will is inevitably the wisest and the best!
We left the boat, and put ourselves
under the conduct of Moung Yo. He carried us first
to Mya-day-men, as a matter of form; and there we
learnt, that the emperor had been privately apprized
of our arrival, and said, ‘Let them be introduced.’
We therefore proceeded to the palace. At the outer
gate, we were detained a long time, until the various
officers were satisfied that we had a right to enter;
after which we deposited a present for the private minister
of state, Moung Zah, and were ushered into
his apartments in the palace-yard. He received us
very pleasantly, and ordered us to sit before several
governors and petty kings, who were waiting at his
levee. We here, for the first time, disclosed our character
and object—told him that we were missionaries,
or ‘propagators of religion;’ that we wished to appear
before the emperor, and present our sacred books,
accompanied with a petition. He took the petition
into his hand, looked over about half of it, and then
familiarly asked several questions about our God and
our religion, to which we replied. Just at this crisis,
some one announced that the golden foot was about to
advance; on which the minister hastily rose up, and
put on his robes of state, saying, that he must seize
the moment to present us to the emperor. We now
found, that we had unwittingly fallen on an unpropitious
time, it being the day of the celebration of the late
victory over the Cassays, and the very hour when his
majesty was coming forth to witness the display made
on the occasion. When the minister was dressed, he I9v 186
just said, ‘How can you propagate religion in this
empire? But come along.’
Our hearts sunk at these
inauspicious words. He conducted us through various
splendour and parade, until we ascended a flight of
stairs, and entered a most magnificent hall. He directed
us where to sit, and took his place on one
side; the present was placed on the other, and Moung
, and another officer of Mya-day-men, sat a little
behind. The scene to which we were now introduced
really surpassed our expectation. The spacious extent
of the hall, and the number and magnitude of the pillars,
the height of the dome, the whole completely covered
with gold, presented a most grand and imposing spectacle.
Very few were present, and those evidently
great officers of state. Our situation prevented us
from seeing the further avenue of the hall; but the
end, where we sat, opened into the parade, which the
emperor was about to inspect. We remained above
five minutes, when every one put himself into the
most respectful attitude, and Moung Yo whispered,
that his majesty had entered. We looked through the
hall, as far as the pillars would allow, and presently
caught sight of this modern Ahasuerus. He came
forward, unattended—in solitary grandeur, exhibiting
the proud gait and majesty of an eastern monarch.
His dress was rich, but not distinctive; and he carried
in his hand the gold-sheathed sword, which seems to
have taken the place of the sceptre of ancient times.
But it was his high aspect and commanding eye that
chiefly rivetted our attention. He strided on. Every
head, excepting ours, was now in the dust. We remained
kneeling, our hands folded, our eyes fixed on
the monarch. When he drew near, we caught his attention.I10r 187
He stopped, partly turned towards us—‘Who
are these?’
‘The teachers, great king,’ I replied.
‘What, you speak Burman—the priests that I heard
of last night?’
‘When did you arrive?’ ‘Are you
teachers of religion?’
‘Are you like the Portugese
‘Are you married?’ ‘Why do you dress so?’
These, and some other similar questions, we answered;
when he appeared to be pleased with us, and sat down
on an elevated seat, his hand resting on the hilt of his
sword, and his eyes intently fixed on us. Moung Zah
now began to read the petition and it ran thus:—
‘The American teachers present themselves to receive
the favour of the excellent king, the sovereign
of land and sea. Hearing that, on account of the
greatness of the royal power, the royal country was
in a quiet and prosperous state, we arrived at the town
of Rangoon, within the royal dominions, and having
obtained leave of the governor of that town, to come
up and behold the golden face, we have ascended, and
reached the bottom of the golden feet. In the great
country of America, we sustain the character of teachers
and explainers of the contents of the sacred Scriptures
of our religion. And since ist is contained in
those Scriptures, that, if we pass to other countries,
and preach and propagate religion, great good will result, and both those who teach, and those who receive
the religion, will be freed from future punishment,
and enjoy, without decay or death, the eternal
felicity of heaven,—that royal permission be given,
that we, taking refuge in the royal power, may preach
our religion in these dominions, and that those who
are pleased with our preaching, and wish to listen to I10v 188
and be guided by it, whether foreigners or Burmans,
may be exempt from government molestation, they
present themselves to receive the favour of the excellent
king, the sovereign of land and sea.’
The emperor heard this petition, and stretched
out his hand. Moung Zah crawled forward and presented
it. His majesty began at the top, and deliberately
read it through. In the mean time, I gave
Moung Zah an abridged copy of the tract, in which
every offensive sentence was corrected, and the whole
put into the handsomest style and dress possible.
After the emperor had perused the petition, he handed
it back without saying a word, and took the tract.
Our hearts now rose to God for a display of his grace.
‘O, have mercy on Burmah! Have mercy on her
But, alas! the time was not yet come. He
held the tract long enough to read the two first sentences,
which assert that there is one eternal God,
who is independent of the incidents of mortality, and
that beside him, there is no God; and then, with an
air of indifference, perhaps disdain, he dashed it down
to the ground! Moung Zah stooped forward, picked
it up, and handed it to us. Moung Yo made a slight
attempt to save us, by unfolding one of the volumes
which composed our present, and displaying its beauty;
but his majesty took no notice. Our fate was
decided. After a few moments, Moung Zah interpreted
his royal master’s will, in the following terms: ‘In
regard to the objects of your petition, his majesty
gives no order. In regard to your sacred books, his
majesty has no use for them, take them away.’
Something was now said about brother Colman’s I11r 189
skill in medicine; upon which the emperor once more
opened his mouth, and said, ‘Let them proceed to the
residence of my physician, the Portuguese priest;
let him examine whether they can be useful to me
in that line, and report accordingly.’
He then rose
from his seat, strided on to the end of the hall, and
there, after having dashed to the ground the first intelligence
that he had ever received of the eternal
God, his Maker, his Preserver, his Judge, he threw
himself down on a cushion, and lay listening to the
music, and gazing at the parade spread out before him.
As for us and our present, we were hurried away,
without much ceremony. We passed out of the palace
gates with much more facility than we entered,
and were conducted first to the house of Mya-day-men.
There his officer reported our reception; but in as
favourable terms as possible; and as his highness was
not apprized of our precise object, our repulse appeared
probably to him, not so decisive as we knew it
to be. We were next conducted two miles, through
the sun and dust of the streets of Ava, to the residence
of the Portuguese priest. He very speedily ascertained
that we were in possession of no wonderful
secret, which would secure the emperor from all disease,
and make him live for ever; and we were accordingly
allowed to take leave of the reverend Inquisitor,
and retreat to our boat.
At this stage of the business, notwithstanding the
decided repulse we had received, we still cherished
some hope of ultimately gaining our point. We regretted
that a sudden interruption had prevented our
explaining our objects to Moung Zah, in that familiar
and confidential manner which we had intended; and I11v 190
we detemined, therefore to make another attempt
upon him in private.
Early in the morning we had the
pleasure of seeing our friend, Mr. G., coming to our
boat. It may not be amiss to mention, that he is the
collector who was chiefly instrumental in relieving us
from the exorbitant demand, which, a few months ago
was made upon us in Rangoon. He now told us that
he had heard of our repulse, but would not have us
give up all hope; that he was perfectly acquainted
with Moung Zah, and would accompany us to his
house, a little before sunset, at an hour when he was
accessible. This precisely accorded with our intentions.
In the afternoon, therefore, we called on Mr. G..
and he went with us into the city. On the way, we
paid a visit to the wife of the present vieceroy of Rangoon,
whose eldest son is married to the only daughter
of the present emperor. We carried a present,
and were, of course, kindly recceived.
Thence we went to the house of Moung Zah,
some way beyond the palace. He received us with
great coldness and reserve. The conversation which
we carried on, chiefly through Mr. G., it is unnecessary
to detail. Suffice it to say that we ascertained, beyond
a doubt, that the policy of the Burman government,
in regard to the toleration of any foreign religion, is
precisely the same with the Chinese:that it is quite
out of the question, whether any of the subjects of the
emperor, who embrace a religion different from his
own, will be exempt from punishment; and that we,
in presenting a petition to that effect, had been guilty
of a most egregious blunder, an unpardonable offence. I12r 191
Mr. G. urged every argument that we suggested, and
some others. He finally stated, that if we obtained
the royal favour, other foreigners would come and
settle in the mpire, and trade would be greatly benefited.
This argument alone seemed to have any effect
on the mind of the minister; and looking out from
the cloud which covered his face, he vouchsafed to
say, that if we would wait some time, he would endeavour
to speak to his majesty about us. From this
remark it was impossible to derive any encouragement,
and having nothing further to urge, we left Mr. G.,
and bowing down to the ground, took leave of this
great minister of state, who under the emperor, guides
the movements of the whole empire.
It was now evening. We had four miles to walk
by moon light. Two of our disciples only followed
us. They had pressed as near as they ventured to the
door of the hall of audience, and listened to words
which sealed the extinction of their hopes and ours.
For some time we spoke not. ‘Some natural tears we dropt, but wiped them soon.The world was all before us, where to chooseOur place of rest, and Providence our guide.’
And, as our first parents took their solitary way
through Eden, hand in hand, so we took our way
through this great city, which, to our late imagination,
seemed another Eden; but now, through the magic
touch of disappointment, seemed blasted and withered,
as if smitten by the fatal influence of the cherubic
Arrived at the boat, we threw ourselves down I12v 192
completely exhausted in body and mind. For three
days we had walked eight miles a day, most of the
way in the heat of the sun, which, even at this season,
in the interior of these countries, is exceedingly oppressive;
and the result of our travels and toils has
been—the wisest and best possible—a result, which if
we could see the end from the beginning, would call
forth our highest praise. O, slow of heart to believe
and trust in the overruling agency of our own
Almighty Saviour!
We again rose early, and having considered
the last words of Moung Zah, wrote down
our request in the most concise and moderate terms,
and sent it to Mr. G., with a message, that he would
once more see Moung Zah, lay the paper before him,
and ascertain, unequivocally, whether there was any
possibility of gaining our point, by waiting several
The rest of the day, and the next being Lord’s
day, we remained in the boat.
Mr. G. called upon us,
with our little paper in his hand. I have shewn your
paper to Moung Zah, and begged him not to deceive
you, but to say distinctly what hopes you might be
allowed to entertain; he replied, ‘Tell them, that
there is not the least possibility of obtaining the
object stated in this paper, should they wait ever so
I now thought of one more expedient; and
taking out the manuscript tract the emperor threw
down, I handed it to Mr. G. This is a brief view of
the Christian religion. Do you present it, in our
name, to Moung Zah, and persuade him to read it, or K1r 193
hear it read. We have indeed no hope of its efficacy;
but it is our last resort, and God may help us in the
extremity. He took it with some feeling, and promised
to do his best.
Before leaving us, he communicated the important
intelligence, that the emperor, flushed with
his late victory over the Cassays, had determined on
war with Siam, and intended, next fall, to march in
person to Pegue, below Rangoon, and there establish
his head-quarters.
After Mr. G. left us, we went to visit Mr. R.
We were formerly acquainted with him in Rangoon;
and he would now have assisted us, had he not been
out of the favour of the new emperor. We related
all our proceedings, and the disappointment of our
hopes. I knew it would be so, replied he, when you
first called on me; but I was not willing to discourage
you from making trial for yourselves. He
then related the following story, with the substance
of which we were previously acquainted:
About fifteen years ago, the —Roman Catholic
priests converted to their faith a Burman teacher of
talents and distinction. They took great pains to
indoctrinate him thoroughly in their religion, and
entertained great hope of his usefulness in their cause.
After his return from Rome, whither they had sent
him to complete his Christian education, he was
accused by his nephew, a clerk in the high court of
the empire, of having renounced the established
religion. The emperor, who, it must be remembered,
was far from approving the religion of Boodh,
ordered that he should be compelled to recant. The
nephew seized his uncle, cast him into prison and K K1v 194
fetters, caused him to be beat and treated unmercifully;
and at length had recourse to the torture of the
iron mall. With this instrument he was gradually
beaten, from the ends of his feet up to his breast,
until his body was little else but one livid wound.
Mr. R. was one of those that stood by and gave
money to the executioners, to induce them to strike
gently. At every blow, the sufferer pronounced the
name of Christ; and declared, afterwards, that he
felt but little or no pain. When he was at the point
of death, under the hands of his tormentors, some
persons, who pitied his case, went to the emperor,
with a statement, that he was a madman, and knew
not what he was about; on which the emperor gave
orders for his release. The Portuguese took him
away, concealed him until he was able to move, and
sent him privately in a boat to Rangoon, and thence
by ship to Bengal, where he finished his days. Since
then, the Roman priests, of whom there are only four
in the country, have done nothing in the way of proselyting,
but confined their labours to their own
flocks, which are composed of the descendants of
foreigners. The man who accused his uncle, is now
the very first of the private ministers of state, taking
rank before Moung Zah! Furthermore, the present
chief queen, who has great influence with his majesty,
is, and ever has been, particularly attached to the
religion and the priests of Boodh. Mr. R. also confirmed
the information we had received of approaching
war with Siam.
Our case could not be more desperate. We directly
returned to the boat, and ordered our people to sell
off all unnecessary articles, and be ready to start, as
soon as our passport could be obtained.
K2r 195 Went to Mya-day-men, and applied
for a passport to Rangoon. He appeared willing
to oblige us; but said we must make formal application
to Moung Zah.
Went to various places, and made
various inquiries and applications for a passport.
Ascertained that it was absolutely necessary in our
case, to procure a special one from the high court of
the empire.
Sent our headman, and some of our
people, with a petition to Moung Zah. After they
had gone off, we called on Mr. G. He informed us
that the tract had been presented to Moung Zah, and
read in his presence. After listening to the whole of
it, instead of throwing it down, or even returning it,
he committed it to one of his people to keep, saying
to Mr. G., ‘The doctrines and commands are very
good: but it will be a long time before Burmans can
be convinced that there is a God and Saviour.’
this interview with Moung Zah, Mr. G. was summoned
before the emperor. His majesty, among other
things, inquired about the foreign teachers. Mr.G.
told him our country, our character, and our object.
The emperor observed that the Portuguese priest had
told him very different things; particularly, that
we were a sect of Zandees (a race very obnoxious to
former emperors). Mr. G. endeavoured to vindicate
our character; but the emperor appeared quite averse
to hearing any thing in our favour. What, said he,
laughing, they have come, presuming to convert us to
their religion! Let them leave our capital. We have
no desire to receive their instructions. Perhaps they K2 K2v 196
may find some of their countrymen in Rangoon, who
may be willing to listen to them.
Mr. G. now advised us to obtain a royal order,
protecting us personally from molestation, while we
should remain in the country; otherwise, said he, as
it will be notorious that you have solicited royal
patronage, and been refused, you will lie at the mercy
of every ill-disposed person.
This suggestion to Mr. G. occupied our thoughts
the rest of the day. We finally concluded, that, as
such an order would cost several hundred ticals, we
would prefer trusting in the Lord, to keep us and our
poor disciples.
At night, our people returned. They had
found Moung Zah, had presented the petition for a
passport; to which he made no other reply, but
‘Come to-morrow.’
Sent the people early in the morning
with a handsome present to Moung Zah. They
returned late at night. He accepted the present, and
assured them he would do our business to-morrow.
Sent the people as usual, our trusty
Moung Nau accompanying them, with a quantity of
silver. This did the business. Late in the evening, I
had the pleasure of taking into my hand the pointed
palm-leaf. It has cost us the value of thirty dollars.
Pushed off from the beach of O-ding-
. I could moralize half an hour on the apt resemblance,
the beauty of congruity, between the desolate
state of our feelings and the sandy barren surface
of this miserable beach. But ‘’tis idle all.’ Let the K3r 197
beach and our sorrow go together. Something better
will turn up to-morrow.
Reached Pyee, 230 miles from
Ava; our descent on the river being, of course, much
more rapid than our ascent. Here, to our great surprise,
we met with the teacher, Moung Shway-gnong.
He had come up from Rangoon, a few days ago, to
visit an old acquaintance, who was dangerously ill;
expects to return shortly; would gladly go with us,
if we could wait a day or two. We stated to him all
our adventures at court, the distressing result of the
expedition, and the present danger of propagating or
professing the religion of Christ, and wound off with
the story of the iron mall. He appeared to be less
affected and intimidated by the relation than we could
have expected. Indeed, his language was rather too
high for the occasion. I therefore told him that it
was not for him that we were concerned, but for those
who had become disciples of Christ. When they were
accused and persecuted, they could not worship at the
pagodas, or recant before the Mangen teacher. He
felt the force of the reflection, and tried to explain his
past conduct. ‘Say nothing,’ said I; ‘one thing you
know to be true, that, when formerly accused, if you
had not, in some way or other, satisfied the mind of
the Mangen teacher, your life would not now be remaining
in your body.’
‘Then,’ said he, ‘if I must
die, I shall die in a good cause. I know it is the cause
of truth.’
He then repeated, with considerable emphasis,
the most prominent points of his present faith,
as follows:—‘I believe in the Eternal God, in his Son
Jesus Christ, in the atonement which Christ has made,
and in the writings of the apostles, as the true and K3v 198
only word of God.’
‘Perhaps,’ continued he, ‘you
may not remember, that during one of my last visits,
you told me, that I was trusting in my own understanding,
rather than in the Divine word. From that
time I have seen my error, and endeavour to renounce
it. You explained to me also the evil of worshipping
at pagodas, though I told you, that my heart
did not partake in the worship. Since you left Rangoon,
I have not lifted up my folded hands before a
pagoda. It is true, I sometimes follow the crowd, on
days of worship, in order to avoid persecution; but I
walk up one side of the pagoda, and walk down the
other. Now, you say, that I am not a disciple. What
lack I yet?’
I was now satisfied that he had made a
little advance since our last interview, which required
a corresponding advance on my side. I replied, therefore,
‘Teacher, you may be a disciple of Christ in
heart, but you are not a full disciple. You have not
faith and resolution enough to keep all the commands
of Christ, particularly that which requires you to be
baptized, though in the face of persecution and death.
Consider the words of Jesus, just before he returned
to heaven, “He that believeth, and is baptized, shall
be saved.”’
He received this communication in profound
silence, and with that air, which I have observed
to come upon him, when he takes a thing into serious
consideration. Soon after, I hinted our intention of
leaving Rangoon, since the emperor had virtually prohibited
the propagation of the Christian religion, and
no Burman, under such circumstances, would dare to
investigate, much less to embrace it. This intelligence
evidently aroused him, and showed us that we had more
interest in his heart than we thought. ‘Say not so,’ K4r 199
said he, ‘there are some who will investigate, notwithstanding;
and rather than have you quit Rangoon, I
will go myself to the Mangen teacher, and have a
public dispute. I know I can silence him. I know
the truth is on my side.’
‘Ah,’ said I, ‘you may have
a tongue to silence him, but he has a pair of fetters
and an iron mall to subdue you! Remember that.’
was the substance of our conversation, though much more prolix; and he left us about 9 o’clock at night.
This interview furnished matter for conversation
till past midnight, and kept us awake much of the remainder
of the night. Perhaps, on arriving in Rangoon,
we shall find the disciples firm, and some others
seriously inquiring. Perhaps we shall discover some
appearances of a movement of the Divine Spirit. Perhaps
the Lord Jesus has a few chosen ones, whom he
intends to call in, under the most unpropitious and
forbidding circumstances. Perhaps he intends to
show, that it is not by might, nor by power, but by
his Spirit. In a word, perhaps, in the last extremity,
God will help us. Ought we, then, hastily to forsake
the place? Ought we to desert those of the disciples
that we cannot take with us, and some others, for
whom Christ died, in such an interesting crisis of their
fate? Would it be rashness to endeavour to trust in
God, and maintain the post, though disallowed by
government, and exposed to persecution? But, again,
can we bear to see our dear disciples in prison, in fetters,
under torture? Can we stand by them, and
encourage them to bear patiently the rage of their
persecutors? Are we willing to participate with them?
Though the spirit may be sometimes almost willing,
is not the flesh too weak?
K4v 200 Pondering on such topics as these, a little ray of
hope seemed to shine out of the darkness of our despair.
But it was not like the soft beam of the moon,
which kindly shines on the path of the benighted pilgrim,
and guides him to a place of shelter. It was
rather like the angry gleam of lightning, which, while
for a moment it illumines the landscape around, discloses
the black magazines of heaven’s artillery, and
threatens death to the unwary gazer.
Arrived in Rangoon. In the evening I called
the three disciples together, and gave them a connected
account of the affair at Ava, that they might
have a full understanding of the dangers of their present
condition, and the reasons of our intended departure
from Rangoon. We expected, that after being
destitute of all the means of grace for some time, and
after seeing their teachers driven away from the presence
of their monarch in disgrace, they would become
cold in their affections, and have but little
remaining zeal for a cause thus proscribed and exposed
to persecution. We thought, that if one out of the
three remained firm, it was as much as we could reasonably
hope for. But how delightfully were we disappointed!
They all, to a man, appeared immoveably
the same, yea, rather advanced in zeal and energy.
They vied with each other, in trying to explain away
difficulties, and to convince us that the cause was not
yet quite desperate. ‘But whither are the teachers
was, of course, an anxious inquiry. We told
them, that it was our intention never to desert Burmah;
but that since the emperor had refused to tolerate
our religion, we thought it necessary to leave, for K5r 201
a time, those parts of the empire which are immediately
under his dominion; that there is a tract of
country, lying between Bengal and Arrakan, which,
though under the government of Bengal, is chiefly inhabited
by Arrakanese, who speak a language similar
to the Burman, the district being really a part of Arrakan,
one component part of the present Burman
empire; that formerly a teacher from Bengal (De
) lived at Chittagong, the principal town in that
district, and baptized several converts, who, at his
death, were left destitute of all instruction to the present
time; and that, in view of these considerations,
it was our purpose to proceed thither, in hope of finding
that toleration which was denied us in Rangoon.
We then asked them severally what they would do?
Moung Nau had previously told us that he would follow
us to any part of the world. He was only afraid
that he should be a burden to us; for, not being acquainted
with another language, he might not be able
to get his living in a strange land. ‘As for me,’ said
Moung Thahlah, ‘I go where preaching is to be had.’
Moung Byaay was silent and thoughtful. At last he
said, that as no Burman woman is allowed to leave
the country, he could not, on account of his wife, follow
the teachers; but (continued, he, with some pathos),
if I must be left here alone, I shall remain performing
the duties of Jesus Christ’s religion; no other
shall I think of. This interview with the disciples
rejoiced our hearts, and caused us to praise God for
the grace which he has manifested to them.
We have spent three or four days
in enquiring about Chittagong, and the prospect of getting
a passage directly thither, or by the way of Bengal.
K5 K5v 202 This evening, Moung Byaay came up with his
brother-in-law, Moung Myat-yah, who has lived in our
yard several months, and formerly attended worship
in the Zayat. ‘I have come,’ said Moung Byaay, ‘to
petition that you will not leave Rangoon at present.’

‘I think,’ replied I, ‘that it is useless to remain under
present circumstances. We cannot open the Zayat;
we cannot have public worship; no Burman will dare
to examine this religion; and if none examine, none
can be expected to embrace it.’
‘Teacher,’ said he,
‘my mind is distressed; I can neither eat nor sleep,
since I find you are going away. I have been around
among those who live near us, and I find some who are
even now examining the new religion. Brother
is one of them, and he unites with me in my
petitions. (Here Myat-yah assented that it was so.)
Do stay with us a few months. Do stay till there are
eight or ten disciples. Then appoint one to be the teacher
of the rest; I shall not be concerned about the event;
though you should leave the country; the religion will
spread of itself. The emperor himself cannot stop it.
But if you go now, and take the two disciples that can
follow, I shall be left alone. I cannot baptize those
who may wish to embrace this religion. What can I
Moung Nau came in, and expressed himself in
a similar way. He thought, that several would yet
become disciples, notwithstanding all opposition, and
that it was best for us to stay a while. We could not
restrain our tears at hearing all this; and we told them,
that as we lived only for the promotion of the cause of
Christ among the Burmans, if there was any prospect
of success in Rangoon, we had no desire to go to another
place, and would, therefore, re-consider the matter.
K6r 203 Moung Shway-boo, a sedate and
pleasant man, who came to live in our yard just before
we went to Ava, accompanied Moung Myat-yah to the
usual evening worship. When we were about breaking
up, Moung Thalah began conversation, by saying,
‘Teacher, your intention of going away, has filled us
all with trouble. Is it good to forsake us thus? Notwithstanding
present difficulties and dangers, it is to
be remembered, that this work is not yours or ours, but
the work of God. If he give light, the religion will
spread. Nothing can impede it.’
After conversing
some time, I found that Moung Louk, another inhabitant
of the yard, had been listening without. Accordingly,
he was invited to take his seat with the inquirers.
Moung Byaay now began to be in earnest, his arm was
elevated, and his eyes brightened. ‘Let us all,’ said
he, ‘make an effort. As for me, I will pray. Only
leave a little church of ten, with a teacher se tover
them, and I shall be fully satisfied.’
Moung Nau took
a very active part in the conversation. The three new
ones said nothing, except that they were desirous of
considering the religion of Christ. Neither of them
however, was willing to admit, that as yet, he believed
any thing.
We felt that it was impossible for us all to leave
these people, in these interesting circumstances; and,
at the same time, we felt it very important that Chittagong
should not be neglected. Under these circumstances
we came to the conclusion, that Brother Colman
should proceed immediately to Chittagong, collect
the Arrakanese converts, and form a station, to which
new missionaries from the Board might at first repair,
and to which I might ultimately flee, with those of the K6v 204
disciples that could leave the country, when we found
that persecution so violent, as to suppress all further
inquiry, and render it useless and rash to remain; that
I should remain in Rangoon, until the state of things
became thus desperate, and then endeavour to join
brother C. in Chittagong; but that if, contrary to our
expectation, the Rangoon station should, after a lapse
of several months, appear to be tenable, and that for
an indefinite time, and some work be evidently going
on, brother C., after settling one or two missionaries
in Chittagong, to keep that place, should rejoin me in
Had private worship in
the Zayat—the front doors closed—none present but
the disciples and inquirers.
A visit from Moung Shway-gnong.
He had considered (he said) my last words, that one
must believe and be baptized, in order to be a full
disciple; it was his desire to be such; and he wanted
to know what outward rules, in particular, he must observe,
in case he should become a professor. I told
him, that the disciples of Christ, after baptism, were
associated together; that they assembled every Lord’s
day for worship; and that, from time to time, they
received the sacrament of bread and wine. I then
warned him of the danger of self-deception, and of
the persecution to which disciples were exposed in this
country, and advised him to reconsider the matter
most thoroughly, before he made a definite request for
After he had gone, Oo Yan (mentioned 1819-12-19Dec. 19th)
came in—was disappointed in not finding Moung Shway-
, having agreed to meet him at the mission- K7r 205
house. We had a long conversation on doctrinal
points, in which he discovered a very acute, discriminating
Another visit from Oo Yan. Venture
to indulge a little hope, that truth is beginning to
operate on his mind.
Private worship as last
Lord’s day. In the evening, received the sacrament of
bread and wine. Moung Nau was not present, having
gone on a visit to Bau-lay his native place. Had a
refreshing and happy season, with the two other disciples.
Two of the inquirers were spectators.
In the evening, had a very pleasant
and instructive conference with the disciples and inquirers.
Moung Thalah appeared to great advantage;
took the lead in explaining truth to the new ones, and
quoted Scripture with singular facility and aptness.
He has most evidently very correct views of the doctrines
of grace. Moung Myat-yah appears to begin
to discern the excellence of the Christian system, and
to have some right feelings towards the Saviour.
Moung Shway-gnong and Oo Yan
have been with me several hours; but the interview
has afforded very little encouragement. The former
said but little on his own account—appearing chiefly
desirous of convincing and persuading his friend, that
he might gain (as I secretly suspected), some companion
of his own rank in life, before he embraced the
new religion. The latter acted on the defensive, and
spent all his time in raising objections. He was ready
to admit, that the atheistic system of the Boodhists was
not tenable; but endeavoured to fortify himself on a
middle system, between that and the Christian; the K7v 206
very system in which Moung Shway-gnong formerly
rested, and which for distinction’s sake, may be fitly
termed the semi-atheistic. Its fundamental doctrine is,
that Divine wisdom, not concentrated in an existing
spirit, or embodied in any form, but diffused throughout
the universe, and partaken in different degrees by
various intelligences, and in a very high degree by the
Boodhs, is the true and only God. This poor system,
which is evidently guilty of suicide, Oo Yan made
every possible effort to keep alive; but I really think,
that, in his own mind, he felt the case to be hopeless.
His mode of reasoning, however, is soft, insinuating,
and acute; and so adroitly did he act his part, that
Moung Shway-gnong, with his strong arm, and I, with
the strength of truth, were scarcely able to keep him
The teacher and Oo Yan, with two
of their friends, came and spent several hours. The
former stayed later than the others, and attended
evening worship. I asked him, whether there was
any point in the Christian system, on which he had
not obtained satisfaction. He replied that he was not
yet satisfied as to the propriety of God’s appointing
one particular day in the week, for assembling
together, in distinction from all other days. I saw,
at once, why he had always been so remiss in attending
worship on the Lord’s day; and I therefore proceeded
to state the nature of positive commands, and
their peculiar excellence, as the best test of obedience;
that it was evidently beneficial for the disciples of
Christ to assemble sometimes; that God, in appointing
that such an assembly should be held at least one
day in seven, must be supposed to be guided by K8r207
wisdom, infinitely transcending that of the man; that
if the disciples of Christ are to meet once at least
in seven days, it is evidently best to have the day of
meeting designated, in order to secure their general
union and concert; and that the first day of the week
had at least this claim to preference, that it was the
day on which our Saviour rose from the dead. I
descanted on these points to his apparent satisfaction;
but let us see whether he will come next Lord’s
Later in the evening had an instructive conference
with Moung Myat-yah and Moung Shway-boo.
They both appear to have obtained some of that light,
which, like the dawn of morning, shineth more and
more unto perfect day.
Another visit from the teacher,
accompanied with his wife and child. Again discussed
the necessity of assembling on the Lord’s day.
Found that the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s
supper are, in his mind, liable to similar objections.
Forsook, therefore, all human reasoning, and rested
the merits of the case on the bare authority of Christ:
‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command
Notwithstanding the remains of his deistical
spirit, however, I obtained, during this visit, more
satisfactory evidence of his real conversion, than ever
before. He said, that he knew nothing of an eternally
existing God, before he met with me; that, on
hearing that doctrine, he instantly believed it; but
that it was a long time before he closed with Christ.
Can you recollect the time? said I. Not precisely, he
replied; but it was during a visit, when you discoursed
concerning the Trinity, the Divine sonship of K8v208
Jesus, and the great sufferings which he, though truly
God, endured for his disciples. He afterwards spoke,
with much Christian feeling, on the preciousness of
the last part of the sixth chapter of St. Matthew,
which he heard me read the day before yesterday, at
evening worship.
Moung Thahlah introduced one of
his relations, by name of Moung Shway-bay, as desirous
of considering the Christian religion. Spent an hour
or two in conversing with him. He was afterwards
present at evening worship, and stayed to converse,
after the rest had retired.
Another conversation with Moung
Shway-bay. See an interesting letter written by him at page 265.
He appears to be under deep religious
impressions. His language and his looks evince an
uncommon solemnity of spirit, an earnest desire to be
saved from the wrath to come. After praying with
him, I left him in company with Moung Thahlah.
In the morning, Moung Thahlah informed
me that he and his friend had set up the greater
part of the night, in the Zayat, reading, and conversing,
and praying. In the afternoon, Moung
came in himself. His expressions are very
strong; but I have no reason to doubt his sincerity.
It only seems strange to us, that a work of grace
should be carried on so rapidly, in the soul of an
ignorant heathen. He presented a writing, containing
a statement of his faith, and an urgent request
to be baptized next Lord’s day.
Spent all the evening with Moung K9r209
. Feel satisfied that he has experienced a
work of Divine grace; but think it advisable to defer
his baptism, until Sunday after next, in order to allow
him full time to re-examine the religion, and the foundation
of his hopes.
Three women present at
worship—acquaintances of Moung Shway-gnong.
They have visited Mrs. Judson once or twice before.
The principal of them renounced Gaudama some
years ago, and adopted the semi atheistic system, but
without obtaining any real satisfaction. Two years
ago, she met with a copy of the tract, which gave her
an idea of an eternally existing God; but she knew
not whence the paper came. At length, Moung
told her that he had found the true
wisdom, and directed her to us. Her case appears
very hopeful.
In the evening, after worship, had a protracted
conversation with the disciples and inquirers, on
account of brother Colman’s intended departure tomorrow.
Moung Shway-bay appeared very well
indeed. Moung Myat-yah said, ‘Set me down for a
disciple. I have fully made up my mind, in regard to
this religion. I love Jesus Christ; but I am not yet
quite ready for baptism.’
After we dismissed them,
they went over to the Zayat, of their own accord,
and held a prayer meeting.
And here I must close my journal. We have
spent the last evening with our very dear brother
and sister Colman. They expect to embark to-morrow
morning. Our parting is mournful; for happy, uncommonly
happy, has been our past intercourse.
Nothing but a sense of duty could force the present K9v 210
separation. We hope that it will be of short duration,
and that we shall soon reunite our labours in Chittagong
or Rangoon.”

I remain, my dear Sir,
Very affectionately and respectfully.


Letter XII.

My dear sir,

After the departure of our beloved friends, Mr.
and Mrs. Colman, we again found ourselves in our
former solitary situation, with this exception, that our
faithful and affectionate Burmans remained with us,
and often comforted our hearts, by the daily exhibition
of spiritual mindedness, and sincerity in their profession.

The importance of having a branch of the Burman
mission established at Chittagong, was obvious, from
the consideration that this district was under the British
government, and separated from the Burman territory
only by a river. Mr. and Mrs. Colman arrived
at that place in 1820-06June, 1820, and made a most encouraging
beginning. They had erected a house in the
midst of the native population, and made rapid progress
in the acquisition of the language, which was
commenced while in Rangoon. Mr. Colman had begun
to communicate the truths of the gospel publicly, and
had witnessed their effect on the mind of his teacher,
when these animating prospects were blasted by the K10r 211
sudden, unexpected, and lamented death of this valuable
missionary. But even this heavy affliction is attended
with circumstances of mercy. Mr. Colman
was permitted to live, until he had given to the Christian
world one of the most striking instances of Christian
decision and pure missionary zeal, ever exhibited
since the commencement of modern missions.

In Chittagong he might have lived comfortably in
civilized Christian society, under the protection of the
English government, and been usefully employed in
missionary avocations. But in imitation of the Redeemer,
and prompted by feelings of compassion for immortal
souls, he chose his residence in a native village,
where he was surrounded by poverty, ignorance, and
delusion, and where too, he fell a martyr to his zeal! The Christian spirit of this excellent man may be discovered
in the following extract from a letter, which he wrote to a friend
in 1821-01January, 1821:—
“For six months past, I have been so engaged in missionary
work, that the dear land of my nativity has occupied but few of
my thoughts. A short time since, however, the Memoir of
Henry Martyn
was put into my hands; and while reading the
account of his departure from England, the sad but joyful
morning on which I bade adieu to America, came fresh to my
remembrance, and a train of sensations were excited, of which
I have often been the subject. I walked out in the virandah, and
the sun was sinking in the west; I fancied that I saw my far
distant brethren rising from sweet repose, and engaging in the
various duties of life. Their countenances passed before my
mind; and while recollecting that I should enjoy their society
no more on earth, my thoughts were quickly transported to
that happy world, in which all whose names are written in the
—Book of Life shall be united, never again to part. Reflections
like these often cheer the hour of solitude, and produce emotions
indescribably pleasant.”

K10v 212

Happy Colman! The few short years he was allowed
to labour on mission ground were faithfully improved;
he was early released from a life of toil and
privation, and admitted into the presence of Him, from
whom he doubtless heard these transporting words:
“Well done good and faithful servant, enter thou into
the joy of thy Lord.”

A very interesting letter from Mrs. Colman to Mr.
mother, detailing the particulars of his death,
having just been received, is inserted, with a view of
exhibiting to the world another instance of the power
of religion to support the Christian, under the most
appalling circumstances:

Your letter of 1821-08-28August
28th, 1821
, was duly received. While reading the
account which it contains of the death of Mr. H.
, I little suspected it would so speedily fall to
my lot to communicate to you intelligence of a similar
nature. Alas! it is my painful duty to mention a
death, in which you are more deeply interested than
in that of the above, and which, should you not have
previously heard of it, will awaken in your bosom the
tenderest sorrow. Your affectionate son, the amiable
and dearly beloved companion of my joys and sorrows,
is no more! How trying and mysterious are the dispensations
of Providence! On the arrival of your
letter, which was the 1822-06-088th of June, Mr. C. was well,
and enjoyed an unusual flow of spirits. He was
warmly engaged in the cause of his Divine Master,
and his life, to human appearance, was never more
necessary. But, just at this interesting period, Infinite
Wisdom saw fit to remove him. On the 1822-06-2828th of June
he was attacked by an intermittent fever. He took K11r213
such medicines as are commonly used in similar cases.
They produced a good effect; and such were the favourable
symptoms of his disease, and so slight his
sufferings during the first five days, that neither of us
apprehended the least danger. On the sixth day,
however, he suddenly grew worse, and early in the
evening the fever came on in a more alarming manner
than it had done at any preceding time. I gave him
some medicine, which considerably abated its violence.
He became quite composed, and after speaking a few
words to me, fell into a gentle sleep. I remained by
him in a state of great anxiety, but still thought there
was every appearance of his having a comfortable
night, and I determined, as I saw his disorder increasing
so fast, that should we both be spared until the
next day, I would remove with him to Chittagong,
hoping that a change of air might prove beneficial.
But, alas! he was not permitted to behold the light of
another sun. After remaining composed for a short
time, I had the disappointment to perceive that he
grew extremely restless. I awoke him; and, oh!
what agony of mind I felt, when I found that delirium
had made its approach! It was then about eleven
o’clock. After this, the fever increased in a rapid and
violent manner, and rendered ineffectual every effort
which I made to save a life so dear to me. His sufferings
were very extreme, until towards the close, when
it pleased God to lessen their severity. Although
unable to speak, yet he seemed entirely delivered from
pain, and breathed his last without a groan or struggle.
I am sensible, my dear mother, that this event
will be peculiarly trying to you. I am sure it has left
me most disconsolate and afflicted. It has indeed K11v 214
been almost too much for my feeble nature to sustain.
But, however severe our sufferings, let us rest satisfied
that the event has been ordered by unerring wisdom.
If God condescends to number the hairs of our head,
and to take notice of even the sparrow which falleth
to the ground, certainly he is not indifferent to those
events which relate to the prosperity of his own
kingdom. God knew perfectly well what would be
the result of our going to Cox’s Bazar. It was according
to his holy will that there Mr. C. should be
visited with sickness, and that sickness should
terminate in death. May we therefore be enabled to
exercise that submission which is pleasing in his sight,
and to say, with an afflicted saint of old, ‘Though he
slay me, yet will I trust in him!’
Let it also be our consolation, that the dear subject
of this letter was fully prepared for heaven, and
that his happy spirit, now released from this world of
sin and suffering, is enjoying the company of angels
and glorified beings, and drinking full draughts of
bliss from that river of pleasure which flows at the
right hand of God and the Lamb. He did not put off
the concerns of eternity until confined to a sick bed.
No: while blest with health, and in the full possession
of his rational powers, he made it his business to
prepare for a dying hour. During the last eighteen
months of his life, his mind was unusually solemn,
and seemed to be under a strong presentiment that he
should be early removed from this world. Frequently,
when under the influence of these impressions, he
has conversed in the most solemn and impressive
manner respecting his own dissolution. One of these
seasons, in particular, is deeply engraven on my memory. K12r 215
Coming one day from his place of retirement,
he seated himself by me, and when a placid and heavenly
air, conversed with me concerning an early separation,
and intreated me to prepare my mind for
such an event, as he fully believed his time on earth
was short. He remarked, the prospect of death was
animating, and that he had not a desire to live, but for
my sake, and that of the poor heathen. You may
well imagine, my dear mother, that the subject was
then painful to my feelings; but it now affords me
great satisfaction to reflect on these seasons. I believe
that God was then preparing him for exactly the sudden
death that awaited him, and for a state of heavenly
I rejoice that you are surrounded by Christian
friends, who will feel it their privilege to sympathize
with you on this melancholy occasion. And may God,
of his infinite mercy, pour into your bosom the balm
of heavenly consolation, conduct you safely through
this vale of tears, and at last, may we both have a
happy re-union with our beloved friend in that world
where distracting sorrows and separations are unknown!”

Our little church at Rangoon, at this time, 1820-02February,
, consisted of only five members, two foreigners
and three Burmans. Its rapid and encouraging
increase together with some domestic affliction,
is described in Mr. Judson’s journal, as follows:

Brother and sister Colman took
leave of us, and embarked for Bengal.
We have converted one of the rooms,
lately occupied by brother Colman, into a sort of
chapel for evening worship, and conversation with K12v 216
those of the disciples and inquirers who live on the
mission premises, and for stated worship on Lord’s
day; thus finally abandoning the Zayat, where since
our return from Ava we have had worship on Lord’s
day, with closed doors. The little chapel we call the
new Zayat. May its blessings prevail above the
blessings of its progenitor!
In the evening we had a final conversation
with Moung Shway-bay, See an interesting letter written by him at page 265. and became fully satisfied
with the evidences of his conversion. We
therefore expressed our willingness to receive him into
church fellowship, and I announced to him my intention
of baptizing him to-morrow, on which he expressed
his gratitude and joy.
At night, after dark, we went
privately to the accustomed pond, and baptized the
new disciple. Afterwards, sat down to the table of
the Lord—two foreign and four native communicants.
Three inquirers were admitted to be spectators.
A visit from Oo Yan, accompanied
by two of his friends, who have been before. Long
conversation on topics of the Christian religion.
The women, mentioned 1820-03-26March 26th,
spent most of the day with Mrs. J. They regularly
visit about once a week. I mention the visit of to-
day, because it has afforded pretty satisfactory evidence
that the principal one of the company, by name Mah
, has experienced Divine grace. Her husband
is one of the visitors, who came with Oo Yan on the 1820-04-1111th.
Moung Shway-bay, has for some L1r217
days, been talking of a visit to Shway-doung, his native
place, to communicate the treasure which he had
found, to his numerous relations and friends. This
evening, after expressing his desires, he said, it had
occurred to him, that it might be proper to ask permission
or license so to do. Not that he aspired to
set up as a teacher; far from that; but he wanted to
feel, that, in communicating the gospel, he was proceeding
in a regular, authorized manner. He thought
that if two or three disciples could be raised in each
of the large towns, it would much facilitate our operations.
He was sure that at least one in ten of his
relations and friends, on hearing his story, could not
help embracing the new religion. I secretly exulted
at hearing his proposal, so evidently the result of
Christian principle, and exhorted him to constant self-
examination and prayer, as the means of discovering
his own duty and the Divine will.
Early in the morning, the
teacher Moung Shway-gnong came in, after an absence
of just a month. He was soon followed by Oo
and his two friends. They spent the whole day
with me; all appear hopeful. The teacher remained,
as usual, after the others had left, and thereby afforded
me an opportunity for private conversation. He admitted
that all his objections to positive commands
were removed; and that it was his desire to be a full
disciple; but when urged closely on the subject, he
intimated that his wife and friends were opposed to
his taking any decided step; and that if he did, he
was, moreover, exposed to imminent danger of persecution
and death. He mentioned these things with so
much feeling, and such evident consciousness of simpleL L1v 218
weakness, as completely disarmed me. My heart
was wrung with pity. I sincerely sympathized with
him, in his evident mental trials. I could not deny the
truth of what he said; but gently hinted, ‘as thy day
is, thy strength shall be,’
and proposed the example
of the apostles and martyrs, the glory of suffering for
Christ, &c. But the thought of the iron mall, and a
secret suspicion, that if I was in his circumstances, I
should perhaps have no more courage, restrained my
tongue. We parted with much solemnity, understanding
one another better than ever before. I shall not
probably see him again very soon, as it is too dangerous
for a man of his distinction to be seen coming
frequently to the mission-house.
Mah Men-lay and her friends have
been with Mrs. J. all day. She gives inncreasing evidence
of being a real disciple; but is extremely timid,
through fear of persecution. One of her remarks deserves
notice, as a natural expression of true Christian
feeling. ‘I am surprised,’ said she, ‘to find this religion
has such an effect on my mind, as to make me
love the disciples of Christ more than my dearest
natural relations.’
She is a woman of very superior
discernment and mental energy. One of the women
who has frequently accompanied her in her visits, met
with a tract at old Pegue, about six weeks ago, and
came all the way to Rangoon, chiefly, she says, on
that account.
This day I have finished the translation of the
epistle to the Ephesians, begun before I went to Ava,
but intermitted on account of the weakness of my
eyes. It is with real joy that I put this precious writing
into the hands of the disciples. It is a great accession L2r 219
to their scanty stock of Scripture, for they have
had nothing hitherto but St. Matthew. I intend to give
them the Acts, as fast as my eyes will allow.
One of the busiest days I
have ever spent. Not a multitude of visitants, as formerly.
That we cannot expect in present circumstances.
But, beside the usual evening assembly, there
were eight or ten present at worship, some of whom
were with me from nine in the morning till ten at
night. Mah Men-lay and her company were with
Mrs. J., who has had a serious attack of the liver
complaint, for a fortnight past, and is now in a course
of salivation.
Oo Yan, after having searched out all their difficult
points of religion, came to-day to the ne plus
—How are sin and eternal misery reconcileable
with the character of an infinitely holy, wise, and
powerful God? He at length obtained such satisfaction,
that he could not restrain laughing, from pure
mental delight, and kept recurring to the subject, and
repeating my remarks to those around him. He was
accompanied, as usual, by his two friends, Moung
and Moung Myat-lah, husband of Mah Men-
. With these came also one Moung Yo, a disciple
of Moung Shway-gnong, a poor man, but a sharp reasoner.
He was, or pretended to be, on the semi-
atheistic plan. See 1820-03-10March 10th. After ascertaining
his precise ground, I used an argument, which, in a
late combat with Oo Yan, I found quite invincible.
It is simply this: ‘No mind, no wisdom—temporary
mind, temporary wisdom—eternal mind, eternal wisdom.’
Now, as all the semi-atheists firmly believe in
eternal wisdom, this concise statement sweeps, with L2 L2v 220
irresistible sway, through the very joints and marrow
of their system. And though it may to others seem
rather simple and inconclusive; to one acquainted
with Burman reasoning, its effect is uniformly decisive.
No sooner is this short sentence uttered, than
one significantly nods his head, as if to say, There you
have it. Another cries out the oponent, You are
undone, destroyed. Another says, Talk about wisdom;
where else will you find it? The disputant himself,
who was perhaps preparing a learned speech about the
excellence and efficacy and eternity of wisdom, quite
disconcerted by this unexpected onset, sits looking at
the wreck of his system, and wondering at the simple
means which has spread such ruin around him; presently
he looks up (for the Burmans are frequently
candid), and says, Your words are very appropriate.
And perhaps his next question is, How can I become a
disciple of the God you worship? All the visitors to-
day, and indeed all the semi-atheists, are despisers of
Gaudama, and the established religion of the land.
Moung Shway-gnong has disseminated this heresy in
Rangoon for several years; but since he has become
acquainted with us, he frequently tells his adherents, I
know nothing; if you want true wisdom, go to the
foreign teacher, and there you will find it. I have
reason to believe that this heresy is not confined to
Rangoon, but is taking root in various parts of the
country, and preparing the way for the Christian religion.
O, for toleration—a little toleration. We will
be content to baptize in the night, and hold worship in
private; but we do pray that we may not be utterly
banished from the land; that we may not be cut up
root and branch. O, that these poor souls, who are L3r 221
groping in the dark, feeling after the truth, may have
time and opportunities to find the precious treasure,
which will enrich them for evermore. We are all looking
with anxiety towards the golden feet. Our viceroy,
Moung Shway-thah, has gone thither on a visit;
and it is doubtful whether he will return, or his rival,
Mya-day-men. If the latter, there is some reason to
hope that we shall keep footing in Rangoon, at least
during his administration.
Another visit from Moung Myat-lah
and his wife, which has afforded us good reason to
hope, that he also has become a true believer. His
wife appears the same as usual. They are both gaining
courage in regard to an open profession of the
Christian religion, and begin to wonder at the backwardness
of their formal oracle, Moung Shway-gnong.
Moung Thah-ay, the friend of Moung-
, has spent most of the day with me, and
given equally good evidence of being a true disciple.
He was formerly an officer under government, and
amassed considerable property, which he mostly spent
in building pagodas and making offerings. But he
obtained no satisfaction, found no resting place for his
soul, until he became acquainted with the religion of
Jesus. He now rests in this religion with conscious
security—believes and loves all that he hears of it—
and prays that he may become fully a true disciple of
the Saviour.
Both of these men are respectable householders,
rather above the middling class. They live in a little
village called Nan-dau-gong, about half a mile from
the mission-house. Moung Myat-lah has a large
family; but Moung Thah-ay has none; and were it L3v 222
not for an aged mother who depends on him, he would
follow me, he says, throughout the world.
The three visitors from Nan-dau-gong
have been with us part of the day. One characteristic
trait in these people is a particular love for the Scriptures.
They almost quarrel with one another for the
only copy of the Ephesians, which I have given them,
and I therefore determine to spare them another, as
soon as it is done. They say, that the translation of
this epistle is plainer and more easily understood than
that of St. Matthew; which is very encouraging to
me, as I executed it without the assistance of any person,
not even of a Burman teacher. My old teacher
went to Ava some months ago; and I am now afraid
to employ another, lest he should become too well
acquainted with the disciples and inquirers, and betray
them to government.
A very busy day with the
Nan-dau-gong visitors, and the usual evening assembly.
Mah Myat-lah and Mah Doke, who
have frequently accompanied their relation, Mah Men-
, came to-day by themselves. They appear to be
under solemn religious impressions, sensible of their
sin and danger, and anxious to obtain an interest in
the Saviour; but are yet unenlightened, in regard to
the way. Mah Baik also, sister of Moung Thahlah,
who formerly afforded us some encouragement, but
afterwards fell off, has recommenced visiting us. We
hope, that during several months’ confinement, she
has not in vain meditated on the truths she formerly
heard. She says, that her mind is changed; that she
loves the Saviour, and trusts in Him alone for salvation
from sin and hell, and desires to become his disciple L4r 223
in full, by receiving baptism. Her husband,
Moung Nyo-dway, and Moung Thah-yah, another
resident in our yard, whom, I think, I have not yet
mentioned, are constant attendants on evening worship,
and seem to be making slow advances in the
knowledge and love of Divine truth. Moung Shway-
, the last baptized, begins to appear to great advantage
—has very correct ideas of the gospel system
—and communicates truth to the inquirers with much
feeling and animation. In zeal for the extension of
the Redeemer’s kingdom, he surpasses the older disciples.
This is the man, who, from not knowing that
there was such a being in the universe as a God, became
a speculative believer, a penitent, a hopeful recipient
of grace, and a candidate for baptism, all in the
space of three days. Some of the above-mentioned
have, on the contrary, been several months in making
similar attainments, and are yet found wanting. Thus
diverse are the operations of the Holy Spirit.
Spent several pleasant hours with some
of the Nan-dau-gong people. Mah Men-lay ventures
at last to request baptism, but wishes to wait a little,
to see whether her husband and some of her friends
will not join her.
A visit from the doctor, Oo Yan, after
a long interval. He appears to be fully convinced of
the truth of the Christian religion, and of his own
dark and sinful state. He compares himself to a person
who rejoices, at intervals, in the light of a glow-
worm; but finds, alas! that it is but momentary. He
was accompanied by Moung Myat-lah, who appears
almost decided. Says he is going to visit his former
teacher, Moung Shway-gnong, and persuade him L4v 224
to join the Nan-dau-gong company, in receiving
A visit from Moung Shway-gnong.
He seems to have made no advance, in any respect,
since his last visit.
A considerable company
at worship. After worship had a difficult discussion
with Oo Yan, on the reconcileableness of the Divine
veracity with the doctrine of vicarious atonement.
In the evening Moung Myat-yah (mentioned
1820-03-26March 26th), and Moung Thah-yah, requested baptism.
The former has given satisfactory evidence for
some time. The latter has been constant in attending
on the means, and appeared somewhat hopeful; but
we did not expect that he would come forward so soon.
Moung Thah-yah has been greatly distressed,
since he found that we doubted the reality of
his conversion. He appears to be really in earnest,
and his conversation this evening constrains us to
believe that he is the subject of true Christian exercises.
Another visit from Moung Shway-
, more encouraging than the last. He was
accompanied by several of the inquirers. Mah Myat-
and Mah Doke, gave some evidence of being subjects
of a work of grace. In the evening, determined
to receive Moung Myat-yah and Moung Thah-yah
into church fellowship.
All the visitors of yesterday,
and some others, present at worship. In the
evening, administered baptism to the two new disciples.
Received letters from Bengal.
News from Bombay, that a Mahomedan has professed L5r 225
the gospel, and from Java, that brother Robinson has
baptized the first Chinese convert. Thus there seems to
be a beginning in several very important stations. May
the little one become a thousand! Rejoiced to hear
that brother Colman had safely arrived at Bengal, and
embarked in a boat for Chittagong, and that thus far he
had not met with any molestation or interruption from
the police. May he get a footing at Chittagong for
everything here, in regard to toleration, grows darker!
Had an interview with the
principal one of the Nan-dau-gong visitors, from
which I conclude, that they are far from daring to
profess the Christian religion, though I feel satisfied
that they have received it in their hearts.
The Mangen teacher has returned from Ava, with
fresh eclat, and recommenced his ecclesiastical
operations. He came down under the special patronage
of the new Ya-woon, or vice-governor of the
place. It is the prevailing report, that no viceroy
will be sent down until the emperor is nearly ready to
march, in person, to conduct the Siamese war; and
that, at any rate, the old viceroy, Mya-day-men, from
whom we hoped to receive some protection, will be
detained at Ava.
Mrs. J., after having been through
two courses of salivation for the liver complaint, at
length despairs of recovering, without some proper
medical assistance. For a few days, we have hoped
that she would get some relief from the various applications
which have been made, though at the expense
of an almost total exhaustion of strength; but this
morning to our utter disappointment, the disorder has
returned with increased violence; and her constitution L5 L5v 226
appears to be rapidly failing. I have intended, for
some time past, to send her alone to Bengal; but she
has become too weak, and the present circumstances of
the case are too alarming, to allow such a measure;
and I have, therefore, concluded to accompany her.
We have a special inducement to embrace the opportunity
afforded us by the ship which lately brought
our letters, since, if we reject this, we shall have to
wait several months for another opportunity, during
which time, Mrs. J. will, in all probability, be placed
beyond the reach of medical assistance.
Moung Nyo-dway and
Moung Gway request baptism. We have had a good
hope of the former for some time. With the latter
we are very slightly acquainted, though he has been
a constant attendant on evening worship, for nearly
two months. This application, however, is approved
by some of the most discerning in the church. The
Nan-dau-gong people hope that they shall get grace
and courage enough to profess the Christian religion,
by the time I return from Bengal.
Have been very busy all the past
week in getting ready for the voyage. In procuring
a governmental passport, received essential assistance
from Mr. Lansago (a Spaniard), the present collector
of the port, and one of the chief magistrates of the
place during the absence of the viceroy. He has also
promised to protect the people whom we leave on the
mission premises.
A few days ago, we concluded
to receive the two new applicants for baptism;
but I thought it most prudent (partly by way of trying
their sincerity), to send them a message, suggesting, L6r 227
that since I was greatly occupied in getting ready for
sea, and since one of them was not so well acquainted
with the doctrines of religion as was desirable, it
might be better to defer their baptism till my return.
This morning they came up in much trouble.
They stated, that as they had fully embraced the
Christian religion in their hearts, they could not remain
easy without being baptized, according to the
command of Christ; that no man could tell whether
I should ever return or not; and that it was their
earnest petition, if I could possibly find time, and
thought them worthy of the ordinance, that I would
administer it to them before I went away. They did
not wish me to go out to the usual place, as that was
at some distance, but would be baptized in a small
pond near the mission-house. Moung Gway said,
that though he was very ignorant, he knew enough of
this religion to love it sincerely, and to trust in Christ
for salvation from all his sins. I re-examined them
both, stated to them the great danger of professing a
foreign religion, &c. and on their urging their request,
I told them I would baptize them in the evening.
Was obliged to be out all the afternoon, getting
our things aboard the ship, as we expect to move
down the river to-morrow morning. At night baptized
the two new disciples, after which we all partook
of the Lord’s supper for the last time.
Ship to be detained two days. In the
forenoon, the teacher, Moung Shway-gnong came in.
I received him with some reserve; but soon found
that he had not stayed away so long from choice, haveing
been ill with a fever for some time, and occupied
also with the illness of his family and adherents. He L6v 228
gradually wore away my reserve; and we had not been
together two hours, before I felt more satisfied than
ever, from his account of his mental trials, his
struggles with sin, his strivings to be holy, his penitence,
his faith, his exercises in secret prayer, that he
is a subject of the special operations of the Holy
Spirit, that he is indeed a true disciple. He stayed all
day. In the afternoon, the five Nan-dau-gong visitors,
the doctor Oo Yan, and several others, came together,
and we had much interesting conversation. Towards
the close, Moung Shway-gnong, as if to bring things
to a crisis, addressed me thus: ‘My lord teacher,
there are now several of us present, who have long
considered this religion. I hope that we are all believers
in Jesus Christ.’
‘I am afraid,’ replied I, ‘to say
that; however, it is easily ascertained; and let me
begin with you, teacher. I have heretofore thought
that you fully believed in the eternal God; but I have
had some doubt whether you fully believed in the Son
of God, and the atonement he has made.’
‘I assure you,’
he replied, ‘that I am as fully persuaded of the latter
as the former.’
‘Do you believe then,’ I continued,
‘that none but the disciples of Christ will be saved from
sin and hell?’
‘None but his disciples.’ ‘How then
can you remain, without taking the oath of allegiance
to Jesus Christ, and becoming his full disciple, in body
and soul?’
‘It is my earnest desire to do so, by receiving
baptism; and for the very purpose of expressing
that desire, I have come here to-day.’
‘You say,
you are desirous of receiving baptism, may I ask, when
you desire to receive it?’
‘At any time you will please
to give it. Now—this moment, if you please.’
you wish to receive baptism in public or in private?’
L7r 229
‘I will receive it at any time, and in any circumstances
that you please to direct.’
I then said—‘Teacher, I am
satisfied, from your conversation, this forenoon, that
you are a true disciple; and I reply, therefore, that I
am as desirous of giving you baptism, as you are of
receiving it.’
This conversation had a great effect on
all present. The disciples rejoiced; the rest were
astonished; for though they have long thought that
he believed the Christian religion, they could not
think that such a man could easily be brought to
profess it, and suffer himself to be put under the
water by a foreigner. I then turned to Moung Thah-
, one of the Nan-dau-gong people, who, I hope, is
a true believer.—‘Are you willing to take the oath of
allegiance to Jesus Christ?’
‘If the teacher, Moung
, consents,’
replied he, ‘why should I
‘And if he does not consent, what then?’
‘I must wait a little longer.’ ‘Stand by,’ said I, ‘you
trust in Moung Shway-gnong, rather than in Jesus
. You are not worthy of being baptized.’
, on being similarly interrogated, wished to
consider a little longer. Oo Yan was still further from
committing himself. Of the women present, I interrogated
Mah Men-lay only. She had evidently a considerable
struggle in her mind, probably on account of
her husband’s having just declined. At length, she
said, if I thought it suitable for her to be baptized,
she was desirous of receiving the ordinance. I told
her, that her reply was not satisfactory. I could not
consent to baptize any one, who could possibly remain
easy without being baptized, and then I related the
story of the two last disciples; after which the party
broke up.
L7v 230 In the evening I laid the case of Moung Shway-
before the church, and we joyfully agreed to
receive him to communion, on his being baptized.
In the morning, the teacher again
made his appearance; I again asked him whether he
preferred being baptized in the day or in the evening;
and he again left it to my decision: on which I advised
him to wait till night. He appeared very well through
the day—his deportment solemn—his conversation
spiritual. Just at night, I called in two or three of
the disciples, read the account of the baptism of the
eunuch, made the baptismal prayer, and then proceeded
with the teacher to the accustomed place,
went down into the water, and baptized him.
On my return, I found that Mah Men-lay, whom
I had left with Mrs. Judson, had gone away. As soon
as she saw that the teacher had actually gone to be
baptized, she exclaimed, ‘Ah! he had now gone to
obey the command of Jesus Christ, while I remain
without obeying. I shall not be able to sleep this
night. I must go home and consult my husband,
and return.’
In the evening, we again partook of the
Lord’s supper, in consequence of the admission of the
teacher, and my expected departure on the morrow.
We had just finished, when, about nine o’clock, Mah
returned, accompanied by the two other
women from her village. She immediately requested
to be baptized. The disciples present assented without
hesitation. I told her that I rejoiced to baptize
her, having been long satisfied that she had received
the grace of Christ; and, it being very late, I led her
out to the pond, near the house, by lantern light, and
thus baptized the tenth Burman convert, and the first L8r 231
woman. Mah Men-lay is fifty one years old, of most
extensive acquaintance through the place, of much
strength of mind, decision of character, and consequent
influence over others. She is, indeed, among women,
what Moung Shway-gnong is among men.
On returning to the house, she said, ‘Now I have
taken the oath of allegiance to Jesus Christ, and I have
nothing to do but commit myself, soul and body, into
the hands of my Lord, assured that he will never
suffer me to fall away.’
Several of the visitors spent
the night at the mission house.
In the morning we all met for worship.
After I had prayed, Moung Thahlah and Moung Shway-
both prayed, with much propriety and feeling. In
the course of the forenoon, Mah Men-lay’s husband,
and Moung Thah-ay, and the doctor, and several others
came in, so that we had quite a house full. At noon
we set out for the river, followed by near a hundred
people, the women crying aloud, in the Burman manner,
and almost all deeply affected. When we entered
the boat,, I called the teacher and Mah Men-lay, and a
few others, to go with us to the ship, which lay at
some distance in the river. The rest remained on the
wharf, bidding us farewell, telling us to come back
soon, &c. Thus we left the shores of Rangoon. Those
who accompanied us to the ship, stayed an hour or
two, and returned. We stood as long on the quarter-
deck, looking at them, as the others had stood on the
wharf looking at us.
The ship having been unable to move
yesterday, on account of the anchor’s being foul, the
teacher, Moung Shwway-gnong, espied the masts from
his village, and came off in a boat, with his wife and L8v 232
another woman. Soon after, most of the Nan-dau-
gong people came to the mission house, and finding
that the ship had not dropped down, came off, accompanied
by several of our own people. We were much
gratified by this fresh proof of their attachment; but
the ship got under weigh immediately, and they were
obliged to leave us for the last time.
Reached the search village, and passed
the customary examination.
Continued to move down with the tide.
At night, anchored near the Elephant, in full view of
the sea.
We have been obliged to wait till this
time, on account of the threatening appearance of the
weather. This morning ventured over the bar; the
pilot soon after left us, and we find ourselves once
more launched into the boundless ocean. Mrs. J.’s
disorder experienced a slight abatement about a week
before we embarked, in consequence of our succeeding
in raising a very large blister on her side. This temporary
relief enabled her to prepare for the voyage,
and to get on board ship with more ease and facility
than we had expected. Since, however, we have been
lying at anchor, the pain has returned with as much
violence as ever. Yesterday she was confined to her
couch the whole day.
Early this morning we arrived in
Calcutta, and repaired to the house of brother Lawson.
Mrs. J. appeared rather better during the voyage;
but we fear that she has obtained no essential benefit.
Induced by the more
heathful climate of this place, we removed hither to- L9r 233
day, and found a resting place in the house of brother
, not far from the mission premises.
I am happy to be able to state, at
length, that Mrs. J. appears to be on the recovery,
particularly since our removal to Serampore. Dr.
, however, who now attends her, does not
allow her to think of returning to Rangoon for the
present. It is, therefore, my prevailing intention, to
leave her under his care, and return myself by the
first opportunity.
At the last date, Mrs.
appeared to be on the recover. Since that
time, our hopes have been alternately raised and depressed.
But, for a few days past, notwithstanding
the present cool season, and the best medical advice,
her unfavourable symptoms have been all aggravated;
and this morning, we received in writing the definitive
opinion of Dr. Chalmers, that her disorder is a chronic
affection of the liver, which cannot be removed
but by a voyage to America, or at least a protracted
stay in Bengal, under the care of a physician; and that
a return to Rangoon precludes all hope of recovery. I
feel, therefore, under the distressing necessity of leaving
her in Bengal, and returning alone to Rangoon by a vessel
which is expected to sail by the first of next month.
I wish here to express our great obligation to Dr.
, who has frequently attended Mrs. Judson,
though he had to cross the river from Barrackpore, for
that purpose, and who, from regard to the cause in
which we are engaged, declined accepting any thing
by way of remuneration.
Yesterday we took leave
of brother Hough and family, with whom we have L9v 234
spent a very quiet and happy sojourn of two months,
and came down to this city, in order to my embarkation.
But our views have undergone a very great
change, in consequence of meeting with Dr. Macwhirter,
who, as well as Dr. Chalmers, is of the first
eminence in his profession. His opinion does not indeed
differ from that of Dr. C. in regard to the nature
of Mrs. J.’s disorder, or the course of medicine to be
adhered to; but he thinks that he can give such general
prescriptions, as will render a return to Rangoon
less dangerous than we expected. Mrs. J. therefore feels
encouraged to join me in taking passage in the vessel before
mentioned, which is still to be detained a few days.
. Having taken leave of our dear
and excellent friends, Mr. and Mrs. Townley (missionaries
from the London Society), with whom we
have had the happiness of living several days; Mr.
and Mrs. Lawson, and others of the Baptist mission;
and Mr. Ward, a young gentleman from our own
country, whose attachment to us and the cause of
Christ, has been manifested in a series of the most
polite attentions and substantial kindnesses; we are
just embarking in the Salamanca, the same vessel
which, two years ago, conveyed Colman and Wheelock
to the same place to which we are now destined.
A most tedious passage from
Bengal, of nearly six weeks, occasioned by a continued
succession of head winds and calms; but we
hope the protracted voyage has been beneficial to Mrs.
health. This forenoon we came in sight of the
Elephant Grove, so called from its fancied resemblance
to that animal. It marks the western limit of the
Rangoon outlet of the A-rah-wa-tee; and the sight L10r 235
awakened all our feelings of anxiety and desire: anxiety
to hear of the welfare of the little church which
we have so long left in yonder wilderness, the progress
of the inquirers, and the disposition of the present government
of the place twoards the mission—desire to
recommence our missionary labours, to proclaim the
blessed gospel, to feed the sheep and lambs of Christ’s
A pilot came on board.—The principal
articles of intelligence we have obtained from him
are, that Mya-day-men is viceroy of Rangoon; that the
—Roman Catholic priest, whose name occurs in the account
of our visit to Ava, is dead; and that thirty thousand
troops have marched through Rangoon to the fromtiers
of Siam, preparatory to a war with that country.
At night, came to anchor in full sight of the towering
summit of Shway-day-gong.
As we drew near the town, we
strained our eyes to distinguish the countenances of
our friends, amid the crowd that we saw assembled on
the wharf. The first that we recognized was the
teacher, Moung Shway-gnong, with his hands raised
to his head, as he discerned us on the deck; and, on
landing, we met successively with Mah Men-lay, and
Moung Thahlah, and several others, men, women, and
children, who, after our usual examination at the
custom-office, accompained us to the mission house.
Soon after, Moung Nau, and others, came in, who
had not, at first, heard of our arrival. In the evening,
I took my usual seat among the disciples; and when
we bowed down in prayer, the hearts of all flowed
forth in gratitude and praise.
In the morning we went to the government-house. L10v 236
The lady of the viceroy received
Mrs. J. with the familiarity of a friend. We sat some
time conversing with her. She informed us that she
was now Woon-gyee-gah-dau, and was allowed to
ride in a wau; (a vehicle carried by forty or fifty
men;) dignities which very few Burman ladies attain.
While we were sitting with her, the viceroy just made
his appearance, stalking along, as usual, with his great
spear. He looked down upon us a moment, saying,
‘Ah! you are come;’ and then passed on. But he
speaks to no one, and does no business at present,
being absorbed in grief, on account of intelligence
which reached him a few days ago, of the death of
his favourite daughter, one of the chief queens of the
present emperor.
Had worship, and administered
the Lord’s supper. Most of the disciples
present; but some of them unavoidably detained, in
consequences of the distress which presses upon all
ranks of people, occasioned by the expedition to Siam.
Have spent the past week in getting
our things in order, and receiving visits from the
disciples and inquirers. Yesterday, Moung Gway, the
only one of the baptized whom we had not seen, returned
from the woods, on hearing of our arrival; and
I am now able to record (and I do it with the most
heartfelt satisfaction and grateful praise to the preserving
Saviour), that, though they have, for the space
of six months, been almost destitute of the means of
grace, and those who lived in our yard have been dispersed,
and forced, through fear of heavy extortion
and oppression from petty officers of government, to
fly into the woods, or take refuge under some government L11r 237
person who could protect them; yet not one of
them has dishonoured his profession, but all remain
firm in their faith and attachment to the cause, I do
not, however, perceive that any of them have made
the least advance in any respect whatever; nor was
this to be expected, as they have not even enjoyed the
privilege of meeting for worship.
The same remarks are to be made concerning the
four Nan-dau-gong people, companions of Mah Men-
, who appeared to be hopefully pious before we left.
The doctor Oo Yan, with whom we did not feel so
well satisfied, has been with me repeatedly; and, in
the last interview, gave good reason to hope that he
also is a true convert. He seems at length to have
obtained light and satisfaction on the two difficult
points which have so long perplexed him; namely,
the doctrine of vicarious atonement, and the possibility
of being a disciple of Christ by keeping the
two commands of grace: Repent and Believe; without
perfectly keeping the two immutable commands of
merit—Love God entirely, and Love others as yourself.
O, how interesting is it to see (you can almost
see it with your eyes) the light of truth dawning upon
a precious soul, hitherto groping in darkness! If
Oo Yan prove a true convert, he will be a most precious
acquisition to our cause, next to Moung Shway-
. He is a man of talents and respectability.
His words are as smooth as oil, as sweet as honey,
and as sharp as a razor.
In respect to Mah Baike, she has given way to her
violent temper, and involved her husband in debt;
and though she now professes to repent and desire
baptism, and though we have some hope that she is L11v 238
not destitute of grace, and we feel obliged at present to
put her away from us, as a wicked person.
The most important event (and that relates of
course to Moung Shway-gnong), remains to be mentioned.
It will be remembered that he was accused
before the former viceroy, of being a heretic, and that
the simple reply, ‘Inquire further,’ spread dismay
among us all, and was one occasion of our visit to
Ava. Soon after Mya-day-men assumed the government
of this province, all the priests and officers of
the village where Moung Shway-gnong lives, entered
into a conspiracy to destroy him. They held daily
consultations, and assumed a tone of triumph; while
poor Moung Shway-gnong’s courage began to flag;
and, though he does not like to own it, he thought he
must fly for his life. At length, one of the conspiracy,
a member of the supreme court, went into the presence
of the viceroy, and, in order to sound his dispsition,
complained that the teacher, Moung Shway-
, was making every endeavour to turn the
priest’s rice-pot bottom upwards. ‘What consequence?’
said the viceroy: ‘Let the priests turn it back again.’
This sentence was enough; the hopes of the conspiracy
were blasted; and all the disciples felt that they were
sure of toleration under Mya-day-men. But this
administration will not probably continue many
In the course of the week I forwarded a letter to
Mr. Lansago (Who left this place for Ava, above a
month ago), informing him of my return, and begging
him to endeavour to efface the unfavourable impression
concerning us, which the late —Roman Catholic
priest made on the mind of the emperor.
L12r 239 The Nan-dau-gong people have
made us several visits during the week. They are
evidently growing in knowledge and grace; and will
I hope, ere long, be ready to profess Christ in his
appointed way.
This afternoon, Mrs. J. went to their village, to
fix on a spot for the erection of a small school-house.
Mah Men-lay has, of her own accord, proposed to
open a school in the precincts of her house, to teach
the girls and boys of the village to read; in consequence
of which, the latter will not be under the necessity
of going to the Burman priests for education,
as usual. When we found that she had really made a
beginning, we told her that some of the Christian
females in America would, doubtless, defray the expenses
of the undertaking, and make some compensation
to the instructress.
On Tuesday evening we recommenced our usual
Tuesday and Friday evening prayer meetings; but
we expect to have very few present, as most of the
disciples who formerly lived around us are afraid to
return, on account of the present general distress,
from which we are unable to protect them.
All the disciples but
one, and all the hopeful inquirers, were present at
worship; who, together with some others, made up
an assembly of about twenty-five adults, all paying
respectful and devout attention: the most interesting
assembly, all things considered, that I have seen yet.
How impossible it seemed, two years ago, that such a
precious assembly could ever be raised up out of the
Egyptian darkness, the atheistic superstition of this
heathen land! After worship, two of the Nan-dau- L12v 240
gong people had some particular conversation with
Moung Thahlah, about baptism. Much encouraged
by the general appearance of things this day. Why
art thou ever cast down, O my soul and why art
thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: the
God of the Burmans, as well as David’s God: for I
shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance,
revealed in the salvation of thousands of these immortal
Received a visit from Moung Yah,
the man whom, some years ago, I designated as the
first Inquirer. His deportment and conversation were
not, indeed, so modest and encouraging as formerly;
but yet the burden of his request was still, ‘more of
the writings of Jesus Christ.’
After his former visit,
he was appointed to the government of a place at
some distance; but he is now in the situation of justice
of peace, under the present viceroy, and is much
occupied in business. It was under this man that some
of the disciples, who formerly lived in our yard, took
refuge during our absence; and they still continue to
adhere to him. He professes to love the religion of
Christ; but I fear that he has very indistinct ideas,
and that his mind is diverted by the cares of business,
from a due attention to the one thing needful.
Received a visit from a young
priest and a noviciate, who reside in a neighbouring
kyoung (a house inhabited by priests). They stayed
with me above an hour, and paid more candid attention
to Divine truth than I have ever been able to
obtain from any gentlemen of the (yellow) cloth. On
pressing the question, whether they did not sometimes
doubt the correctness of their religion? they confessed M1r 241
in the affirmative, and finally condescended to accept
a tract; but it will be torn to pieces as soon as it
reaches the hands of their superiors.
Received a visit from the teacher,
Oo Oung-det, of the village of Kambet. He has disseminated
the semi-atheistic doctrine for several years,
and formed a small party among his neighbours, who
pay no respect to the priests and the religion of Gaudama.
We had a most interesting conversation of
about two hours, in the presence of a large company,
most of whom came with him. He successively gave
up every point that he attempted to maintain, and
appeared to lay open his mind to the grand truths of
an eternal God, eternal happiness, &c. Moung Shway-
seconded me, and discoursed in a truly impressive
manner, until the attention of the old man was so
completely fixed, that his friends with difficulty persuaded
him to take leave.
Oo Oung-det repeated his visit.
He acknowledges himself convinced of the existence
of an eternal God, and appears to be desirous of
knowing the whole truth; but business prevented his
staying long.
Had a long conversation with Oo
, in which I at length endeavoured to unfold
to his view the whole mystery fo the gospel, the way
of salvation through the atonement of the Son of God,
to which our previous conversations have been little
more than preparatory. But his proud heart evidently
repelled the humiliating doctrine. So true it is that
the cross of Christ is the sure touchstone of the human
heart. His nephew, however, Moung Oung-hmat,
listened with the air of an awakened man. During a M M1v 242
temporary suspense of conversation, I was much gratified
by hearing him whisper to his uncle, ‘Ask him
more about Jesus Christ’
He received a form of
prayer with eagerness, and listened to my parting instruction
with some feeling.
Moung Ing has returned. He is
the second Burman whose heart was touched by
Divine grace. We rejoiced to see his face again, notwithstanding
his rough and unprepossessing appearance,
occasioned by the hardships through which he
has passed since he left us. On his arrival at Bike, a
town far below Rangoon, he shewed his copy of St.
to the —Roman Catholic priest stationed there,
who directly committed it to the flames; and gave,
instead of it, a writing of his own device. But,
through Divine grace, our poor friend retained his
integrity, and remained steadfast in the sentiments
which he formerly embraced.
Spent several pleasant hours with
Moung Ing. During his residence at Bike he was not
satisfied with being a solitary disciple, but undertook
to dispute with both Portuguese and Burmans; and
found two or three who were disposed to listen to him.
He is to return thither within a fortnight: but wishes
to be baptized previously.
This is the second evening in
which Mrs. J. and myself have had an interview with
the viceroy and his lady in their inner apartment. Her
highness gave us some very encouraging hints on the
subject of religious toleration; and promised to introduce
us to the emperor, on his visiting Rangoon
next fall, in prosecution of the war with Siam.
Moung Ing presented M2r 243
his petition for baptism and admission into the church;
and we unhesitatingly agreed to grant his request next
Lord’s day. Not one of the disciples has given more
decided evidence of being a sincere and hearty believer
in the Lord Jesus.
Moung Ing received baptism
immediately after worship in the afternoon.
Several of the hopeful inquirers witnessed the administration.
We partook of the Lord’s
supper in the evening; pursuant to a resolution of the
church, to celebrate this ordinance on the second Sunday
after the change of the moon, in order to avail
ourselves, uniformly, of light evenings.
After the ordinance, Moung Ing immediately took
leave, for the purpose of returning to Bike. He is
laden with various writings in Burman and Portuguese,
for distribution among the people of that place.”

I remain, my dear Sir,
Very affectionately and respectfully,


Letter XIII.

My dear sir,

From the preceding letters, you will learn much of the
character, and perceive the evidences of real conversion,
exhibited by those who made a public profession
of religion.

M2 M2v 244

From the strength of intellect manifested by several
interesting characters, in the following journal of Mr.
, you will, I doubt not, form a high idea of
the natural capacity of the Burmans:

Some time previous to the last
date, I resolved on opening the Zayat, and residing
there as formerly; but soon relinquished the intention
for a time, in consequence of engaging Moung Shway-
to assist me in a thorough revision of those
parts of the —New Testament which are translated, but
not yet printed; namely, the epistle to the Ephesians,
and the first part of the Acts. We have, at length,
finished the revision; and I this day recommence occupying
the Zayat.
Several days have passed, without any
encouraging occurrence. The Zayat never attracted
less company, and I began to fear that the good old
times of 18191819 would never again return. A case,
however, has just occurred, which reminds me of
those times. I never before met with an instance of
such openness of mind, and readiness to receive the
truth, on first communication. The man is a regular-
bred Boodhist, without the least tincture of semi-
atheism; and yet, strange to say, he listened to the
truth with unprecedented candour, and apparent eagerness,
for above two hours. I am sure I shall see him
again—but yet, what have I found more fallacious
than first appearances?
Mr. Lansago arrived from Ava last
night. I have just had an interview with him. On
receiving my letter, he mentioned us before the emperor,
who remembered that we were ‘Zandees’. Mr.
contradicted the aspersion; said we were true men,
&c.; to which his majesty made no reply.
M3r 245 Mr. Ignatius, the principal —Roman Catholic priest
in Rangoon, is going to Ava, by order of the emperor,
to take the place of the old priest, in the medical line.
Mr. L. thinks that the emperor will not come down to
Rangoon, and that the Siamese war will not be continued.
From various causes, there
were only three of the baptized present at worship,
and yet we had an assembly of above twenty adults,
in all the various stages of religious inquiry; some
almost ready to profess religion, and some just beginning
to open their eyes to the wonders of redeeming
love. Among the rest were two aged men, devout
worshippers of Gaudama, and constant attendants on
the lectures of the Mangen teacher. They listened
with fixed attention to a long discourse, from the
parable of the pharisee and publican; and one of them
declared himself pleased with the doctrine. There
was also present, for the first time, a relation of Moung
, from the upper part of the country, who
has received considerable information from his cousin.
He was so much delighted with some things which he
heard, that, in the midst of the discourse, he broke
out into audible expressions of approbation.
Have had several attentive
listeners during the past week. Some of my old
visitors from Kambet, and other villages, begin to find
that the doors of the Zayat are again open.
A succession of company through the
day. A priest of some note listened with much apparent
candour, and some expressions of approval.
Despatched the manuscript of Ephesians,
and the first part of the Acts, to Serampore M3v 246
requesting brother Hough to procure an edition of six
hundred of each, at the expense of the Board.
At night, received a visit from Moung Gway, brother-in-law
to Moung Shway-bay. He was accompanied
by one Moung Thah-ee, an intractable, furious
creature, noted for brow-beating and silencing every
antagonist. He professes to be a strict Boodhist,
without the least doubt on the subject of religion;
but having heard of my object in coming to this
country, wishes to give me an opportunity of making
him doubt. I found him extremely difficult to manage,
and finally told him, that he must get a humble mind,
and pray to the true God, or he would never attain
true wisdom. This threw him into a passion. He
said he would have me to know that he was no common
man. He could then dispute with governors and
kings, &c. I then gave him a tract, which he affected
to disdain, but finally received, and went away.
Moung Gway called to apologize for
his companion’s conduct. He said, that from being
always victorious in disputation, he had become insolent
and overbearing; but that he was really inquiring
after the truth, and had been reading the tract attentively.
Moung Gway himself seems to be favourably
disposed to the Christian religion.
Moung Thah-ee spent the whole evenning
with me. I find that he has a strong mind, capable
of grasping the most difficult subject. He listened
to the truth with much more attention and patience
than at first.
Moung Thah-ee came again, accompanied
by several of his admirers. At first he behaved
with some propriety, and allowed conversation to proceed M4r 247
in a regular manner. But soon he descended into
his own native element, and stormed and raged.
When I found that he would be utterly unreasonable,
and not permit me even to finish a sentence, I remained
silent, and suffered him to display himself. When
he was quite exhausted, I took an opportunity to
exhibit a brief view of the reasons which convinced
me that the religion of Gaudama was false, and the
Boodhist Scriptures fictitious; and then challenged
him to refute my statement. But he declined, saying
that we were both tired, and he would finish the debate
some other time.
A succession of company all the day.
At night, Moung Thah-ee came alone, intending to
have some private conversations; but no opportunity
Encountered another new
character, one Moung Long, from the neighbourhood
of Shway-doung, a disciple of the great Toung-dwen
teacher, the acknowledged head of all the semi-
atheists in the country. Like the rest of the sect,
Moung Long is, in reality, a complete sceptic, scarcely
believing his own existence. They say he is always
quarreling with his wife, on some metaphysical point.
For instance: if she says, ‘The rice is ready;’ he will
reply, ‘Rice! What is rice? Is it matter, or spirit?
Is it an idea, or is it nonentity?’
Perhaps she will
say, ‘It is matter;’ and he will reply, ‘Well, wife,
and what is matter? Are you sure there is such a
thing in existence, or are you merely subject to a delusion
of the senses?’
When he first came in, I thought him an ordinary
man. He has only one good eye; but I soon discovered, M4v 248
that that one eye has great a quantity of
as half a dozen common eyes. In his manners
he is just the reverse of Moung Thah-ee—all suavity
and humility, and respect. He professed to be an inquirer
after the truth; and I accordingly opened to
him some parts of the gospel. He listened with great
seriousness; and, when I ceased speaking, remained
so thoughtful, and apparently impressed with the
truth, that I began to hope he would come to
some good, and therefore invited him to ask some
question relative to what he had heard. ‘Your servant,’
said he, ‘has not much to innquire of your
lordship. In your lordship’s sacred speech, however,
there are one or two words which your servant does
not understand. Your lordship says, that in the beginning
God created one man and one woman. I do
not understand (I beg your lordship’s pardon) what a
man is, and why he is called a man.’
My eyes were
now opened, in an instant, to his real character; and
I had the happiness to be enabled, for about twenty
minutes, to lay blow after blow upon his sceptical
head, with such effect, that he kept falling and falling;
and though he made several desperate efforts
to get up, he found himself at last prostrate on the
ground, unable to stir. Moung Shway-gnong, who
had been an attentive listener, was extremely delighted
to see his enemy so well punished; for this
Moung Long had sorely harassed him in times past.
The poor man was not, however in the least angry
at his discomfiture; but, in the true spirit of his
school, said, that though he had heard much of me,
the reality far exceeded the report. Afterwards he
joined us in worship, and listened with great attention,
as did also his wife.
M5r 249 Moung Thah-ee came again, with
several others; but he was so outrageous, and vulgar,
and abusive, that I found it impossible to hold any
rational conversation with him; and he finally went
away in a great passion, saying, that he had been sent
by some men in authority to spy us out, and that by
to-morrow he would bring us into trouble. Such
threatenings tend to sink our spirits, and make us
realize our truly helpless, destitute condition, as sheep
in the midst of wolves: ‘Lord, behold their threatenings,’
A very busy day. Had
scarcely dismissed the few Europeans, who attend
English worship in the morning, when the Burman
visitors began to come in; and though many of the
disciples were absent, we finally had an assembly of
thirty persons, who paid most earnest and uninterrupted
attention to a discourse of about half an hour,
from the text,—‘By one man’s disopedience many were
made sinners.’
A few, who visited the Zayat during
the past week, were present for the first time. One
of them, by name Moung Hlay, may be named among
the hopeful inquirers. Moung Long was again present,
and another disciple of the Toung-dwen teacher,
of equal powers of mind; but these keen metaphysicians
are, I fear, far from the kingdom of heaven.
A new acquaintance of last
week, of Siamese extraction, and Moung Hlay, and
Moung Long, were present with the usual assembly.
Mah Myat-lay, sister of Mah Men-lay, appears to be
resolved, at length, to profess religion.
Moung Long spent two or three hours
with me, in which I endeavoured to lay before him all M5 M5v 250
the evidences of the truth of the Christian religion.
His wife proves to be as sharp as himself, and has been
harrassing Mrs.J. with all sorts of questions about the
possibility of sin’s finding entrance into a pure mind,
or of its being permitted under the government of a
holy sovereign.
I have this day taken Moung Shway-bay into the
service of the mission. He bids fairer than any other
member of the church to be qualified, in due time, for
the ministry: for though inferior to Moung Thah-lah
in fluency of speech, and to Moung Shway-gnong in
genius and address, he is superior to the former in
consistency of character, and gravity of deportment,
and to the latter in experimental accquaintance with
Divine things, and devotedness to the cause. But the
principal trait of character which distinguishes him
from the rest, and affords considerable evidence that
he is called by higher authority than that of man to
the Christian ministry, is his humble and persevering
desire for that office—a desire which sprung up in his
heart soon after his conversion, and has been growing
ever since. I intend to employ him, at present, as an
assistant in the Zayat, on a small allowance of seven
or eight rupees a month, which I hope the Board will
approve of. In that situation, he will have an opportunity
of improving in those qualifications which are
requisite to fit him to be a teacher of religion among
his fellow-countrymen.
The Siamese spent several hours with
me. His mind is just on the poise between Boodhism
and Christianity.
Moung Long again present
—all eye and ear. Mrs. J. pronounces his wife M6r 251
the most superior woman, in point of intellect, that
she has met with in Burmah.
After evening worship, Mah Myat-lay presented her
petition for admission into the church, which was granted,
and next Sunday appointed for her baptism. The
evidences of her piety are of the most satisfactory kind.
We esteem her quite as highly as her sister Mah-Men-
, though she is far inferior in external qualifications.
Moung Long and his wife spent most
of the day with us. Their minds are in a truly hopeful
state, though still greatly governed by the maxims
of the Toung-dwen school. Their main enquiry to-day
was—How they could obtain faith in Christ? May
the Holy Spirit solve their difficulties, by giving them
an experimental acquaintance with that saving grace!
An intimate friend of the Woon-gyee-
told Mrs. J. to-day, in the presence of her
highness, who, by silence, assented to the correctness
of the remark, that when the emperor, and others
in government, said that all might believe and worship
as they pleased, the toleration extended merely to
foreigners resident in the empire, and by no means to
native Burmans, who, being slaves of the emperor,
would not be allowed, with impunity, to renounce the
religion of their master. This remark accords with
all that we heard at Ava, and may be depended on
(nothwithstanding some private encouragement we
have received from the viceroy and his wife), as affording
a correct view of the state of religious toleration
in this country. It is a fact, that, except ino ur own
private circle, it is not known that a single individual
has actually renounced Boodhism, and been initiated
into the Christian religion.
M6v 252 Mah-Myat-lay informs us, that the news of her
intended baptism has been rumoured among her
neighbours, and excited a great uproar. She is not,
however, disheartened; but rather wishes that her
baptism may not be deferred until Sunday, lest some
measures be taken to prevent it. I expect that she
will present herself for baptism to-morrow evening.
According to the purpose mentioned
under the last date, Mah Myat-lay received baptism,
about sun-set, at the usual place.
Moung Thahlah was married to a woman
resident in our yard, a usual attendant on public worship;
the event somewhat noticeable, as being probably
the first Christian marriage ever performed between
persons of pure Burman extraction.
The first day of Burman Lent. The
Woon-gyee-gah-dau, notwithstanding all she has
heard from Mrs. J., set out, most zealously, in her
course of religious performances; and the whole
town seems to be following her example.
Many cases of hopeful inquiry, and interesting
religious conversation, have occured within the last
month; but they passed away without much apparent
fruit, and are, therefore, not worthy of notice. Moung
and his wife are the most promising at present;
and I begin to indulge some slight hope, that they
will obtain Divine grace.
In the interval of receiving company, I have
lately been employed in translating; have finished
the Gospel and Epistles of St. John, those exquisitely
sweet and precious portions of the —New Testament,
and am now employed on the latter part of the Acts.
I find Moung Shway-bay a most valuable assistant, in M7r 253
all parts of missionary work. Moung Shway-gnong
also begins ‘to be dissatisified with being a mere disciple,
and hopes that he shall some time be thought
worthy of being a teacher of the Christian religion.’

These two, with Mah-Men-lay, are, at present, the
flower of our little church. I have no reason, however,
to complain of the conduct of any, considering
the great disadvantages under which they all labour.
Some have grown comparatively cold; but none have
forgotten their first love. Praise for ever be to Him, ‘Who is faithful to his promises,And faithful to his Son!’
Am just recovering from the second
fit of sickness which I have had this season. The
first was the cholera morbus; the present has been a
fever. The second day after I was taken, Mrs. J. was
seized with the same disorder; and, for several days,
we were unable to help one another. Through Divine
mercy, however, we contrived to get our medicines
from time to time, and are now in a convalescent
state, so far as the fever is concerned. Mrs. J., however,
is suffering severely under the liver complaint,
which, notwithstanding continual salivations, is making
such rapid and alarming advances, as to preclude
all hope of her recover, in this part of the world.
Came to a final conclusion to send
Mrs. Judson to America, for the reasons assigned in a
letter to the corresponding Secretary, accompanying
this number.
Mrs. J. embarked for Bengal.”

I remain, my dear Sir,
Very affectionately and respectfully,


M7v 254

Letter XIV.

My dear sir,

Thus far had the mission proceeded, when loss of
health forced me from Rangoon, and all the interesting
scenes which I had so long witnessed. Those only
who have been through a variety of toil and privation
to obtain a darling object, can realize how entirely
every fibre of the heart adheres to that object, when
secured. Had we encountered no difficulties, and
suffered no privations in our attempts to form a church
of Christ, under the government of a heathen despot,
we should have been warmly attached to the individuals
composing it, but should not have felt that
tender solicitude and anxious affection, which, in the
present case, we experienced.

Rangoon, from having been the theatre in which so
much of the faithfulness, power, and mercy of God
had been exhibited—from having been considered, for
ten years past, as my home for life—and from a thousand
interesting associations of ideas, had become the
dearest spot on earth. Hence you will readily imagine
that no ordinary consideration could have induced my
departure. With the providential and merciful circumstances
attending my voyage to England, and
with all that transpired, during my residence under
your hospitable roof, you are well acquainted. I
hasten, therefore, to communicate the intelligence,
which, from time to time, has been received from the
mission in Rangoon, since my departure.

Soon after the last date in Mr. Judson’s journal, M8r 255
another attempt, with greater probability of success,
was made to destroy the teacher, Moung Shway-
. The chief of his village, in connexion with
several priests, drew up, and presented, a document
to the viceroy, in which Moung Shway-gnong was accused
of having embraced sentiments, which aimed at
the destruction fo the Boodhist religion, and prejudicial
to the existing authorities. The viceroy replied,
that if their assertions were true, Moung Shway-gnong
was deserving of death. The teacher and his friends
had closely watched the proceedings of the accusers,
and took measures accordingly; and, as soon as he
ascertained that the viceroy uttered an encouraging
word to his persecutors, he procured a boat, embarked
his family, secretly fled to the mission-house, to disclose
to Mr. Judson his situation, and, after furnishing
himself with tracts and portions of Scripture, proceeded
up the river to Shway-doung, a town about a
hundred miles from Rangoon. From the last accounts,
he was busily employed in disseminating his
heretical sentiments, and had excited much commotion
among the inhabitants of that place. Thus it
was, as in the days of the apostles, when the disciples
of Christ were persecuted, “they that were scattered
abroad went everywhere preaching the word.”
easy and rapid escape, may appear
almost incredible to one accustomed to a well-regulated
police, in civilized countries. But not so, when
it is known that the government officers in Burmah take
cognizance of those cases only, under their immediate
control; that there is nothing throughout the empire
like a public newspaper, in which the delinquent may
be so described as to occasion detection; and that the M8v 256
only mode of travelling is in boats: consequently,
thousands are at all times on the river.

Moung Shway-gnong’s accusation and escape, howver,
produced, as formerly, much alarm among the
disciples and inquirers,—the former attending public
worship as privately as possible, while the latter
almost entirely withdrew. Mr. Judson was obliged to
shut up the Zayat altogether, and confine his religious
instructions to those who occasionally called at the
mission-house. You will recollect, my dear Sir, that
Mr. J., at this time, was entirely alone; not an individual
to give him an encouraging word. Under
existing circumstances it would not have excited surprise
to find that he was occasionally dejected and
depressed. But, at this period, his mind was particularly
impressed with the importance of completing
the translation of the —New Testament, and he resolved
to engage immediately in this great work, and wait
the farther openings of Providence, in regard to

An extract from a letter written by Mr. J. at this
time, exhibits his reasons for this course:

“Yesterday, feeling myself wholly at a loss, I committed
myself to the guidance of the Lord Jesus, with
some uncommon feelings of faith; and soon after, my
mind became more settled on pursuing the translations,
as being the most honourable to God, the most beneficial
to my own soul, and the most conducive to the
real interest of the mission.
The mission sustained a heavy loss
in the death of Moung Thahlah, the second convert.
In a state of perfect health, he was attacked with the
cholera, and expired in less than nineteen hours. Mr. M9r 257
was not apprized of his illness, until he became
insensible; consequently, the state of his mind,
in that trying hour, was unknown; but, from the
evidence previously given, there is no doubt that his
glad spirit found itself in the presence of the Saviour,
on its emancipation from the body. The death of
Moung Thahlah was more severely felt, as he was one
of the few Burmans in the habit of leading in social
prayer. In this exercise, he very much excelled; frequently
expressing ideas apt and spiritual, clothed
in the most appropriate and edifying language. He
was a young man of fine talents, superior education,
and had a peculiarly interesting mode of communicating
religious truths. But our hopes of his future
usefulness were early blasted by his premature and
sudden death, and we could only say in this, as in
many other cases, ‘Verily thou art a God that hideth

I will now, my dear Sir, close this series of letters,
with Mr. Judson’s last journal, received only a few
days since, just in time for me to communicate the
latest intelligence. From this journal, you will perceive
what reason we have for rejoicing and encouragement,
and what renewed motives are presented
for future trust and confidence in God. Surely Burmah,
with other heathen nations, will shortly become
subject to the moral government of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ!

I begin to hope
that one more Burman has felt the vivifying influence
of Divine truth. He is an old acquaintance of
Moung Ing; and received from him his first serious
impressions. He has visited me several times; but M9v 258
it was not till to-day that he expressed his ‘determination
to worship the eternal God all his life long.’

He is a man in low life, has no family, and his name
is Moung Thah.
Moung Yo, one of the semi-atheists of Pahtsooan-
, formerly a disciple of Shway-gnong, has recommenced
visiting me, accompanied by one Moung
, of very similar character, lately returned from
Martaban. They are both men of sterling sense, and
considerable learning, and have almost renounced
Boodhism in all its forms; for I begin to find that the
semi-atheism, which I have sometimes mentioned, is
nothing but a refined Boodhism, having its foundation
in the Boodhist scriptures.
Received a note from Dr. Price,
communicating the animating intelligence of his arrival
off the mouth of the river.
Enjoyed the great satisfaction of
welcoming brother and sister Price at the place of landing,
and of conducting them to the mission house.
Another season of rejoicing
occasioned by the arrival of brother Hough and his
Have had nothing to notice lately,
except the progress of the translation. During a few
months past, I have finished St. Matthew (a new translation),
St. Mark, and St. Luke, and this day pass into
Romans, the intermediate books being previously done.
Am just recovering from severe illness.
A few weeks ago, I was taken with a fever, slight at
first, but daily increasing in violence, until the event
became very dubious. On recovering from the effects
of the fever, and just resuming the translation, I was M10r 259
suddenly seized with the cholera morbus, though that
disease is not now prevalent in the place; and several
hours of suffering elapsed, before medicine took effect.
This, with the quantity of opium and laudanum administered
deprived me of the little remaining strength
which the fever left me, and I am now scarcely able
to hold a pen. It is singular that last rainy season I
was subject to these same diseases, though in different
order; and I ascribe it to the ascendancy which the
climate of Rangoon is obtaining over my constitution.
If it be the will of God, I feel desirous of living to
finish the —New Testament in Burman: a work which
must otherwise be suspended for some time.
For several months past I
have been so engrossed in the translation, that I have
not solicited company so much as formerly, nor found
time to mention the noticeable events of a missionary
nature, that have occasionally transpired, especially as
they have passed away without much permanent result.
Within a few weeks, however, there have been several
circumstances of such an encouraging kind, as induces
me to mention them in connexion. The first that
excited our attention was the case of Men-oo a blind
girl, resident in our yard, under the medical care of
brother Price. She received her first ideas of religion
from Moung Shway-bay, and after attending evening
worship a few times, appeared to have her heart
opened to Divine truth. About the same time,
Moung Myat-lay received some new excitement, that
induced him and his neighbour, Moung Thah-ay, to
recommence attending public worship, which they
have not done since Moung Shway-gnong’s persecution
and flight. They are both, we hope, true Christians, M10v 260
but have not yet obtained sufficient light and courage
to profess religion. The case of May Mee is somewhat
similar. She is an old woman—a disciple of
Moung Shway-gnong—formerly acquainted with
Mrs. J., but apparently unsusceptible of any impressions.
It is now two or three months since she commenced
visiting us, and listening with uncommon
attention to religious conversation. At length she began
to attend public worship regularly; and, during the
last interview, she manifested much of that deep
solemnity, which has uniformly characterized the
newly converted. Last in order, but not least in
interest, is the case of Mah Doke. She is a relation
and inmate of the Nan-dau-gong sisters, and her
name sometimes occurs in the journal about two years
ago, in connexion with theirs. She was once equally
forward with Mah Myat-lay; but subsequently lost
her impressions, and remained quite stupid, till within
a few weeks, during which time she has been more
frequent in her visits, and more serious and attentive.
Last Sunday she requested baptism; and to-day she
has undergone a particular examination, to the great
satisfaction of us all. Add to these circumstances,
that Moung Shway-gnong has lately returned from the
interior, on a visit, and concluded to stay a while with
us partly as teacher to brother Price. He was
evidently grown in religious experience; his conversation
is more spiritual, and he seems more attached
than ever to us and the cause.
Received a visit from Pah Kyah, an
old disciple of Moung Shway-gnong. His father was
an adherent of the celebrated Kolan, who suffered
under the last king for semi-atheism. This man has M11r 261
been an anti-boodhist all his life: but having, from
long opposition to all around him, become inveterately
attached to his peculiar sentiments, seemed to be the
last person to consider and embrace a new religion.
He obtained some ideas of God from Moung Shway-
, but not sufficient to induce him to visit us
before to-day. Our conversation related chiefly to the
law of God, and the nature and evil of sin, points to
which he was entirely ignorant. He professed to
believe and acquiesce in what he heard; but I fear
that his feelings are at variance with his professions.
My hopes of finishing the New Testament
without interruption, all blasted, by the arrival
of an order from the king, summoning brother Price
to Ava, on account of his medical skill. I must of
course accompany him, and endeavour to take advantage
of the circumstance, to gain some footing in the
capital and the palace. But it is most repugnant to
my feelings to leave my present pursuits and prospects
in Rangoon. May the Lord direct!
Another visit from Pah
. He has meditated deeply on what he heard at
the last interview; and though his first appearance
was rough and forbidding, he drinks in Divine truth,
and yields to its soul-subduing power.
A larger assembly this day than usual, consisting
of above thirty persons. After worship, Mah Doke
was approved by the church, and baptized. In the
evening, had a particular conversation with Men-oo,
the blind girl, and rejoiced to learn the extent of her
religious knowledge; and still more, to discover some
evidences of a work of grace.
Pah Kyah came again, accompanied M11v 262
by his sister, Mah Thah-oo, who, I am told, has been
reading the tract, day and night, and came prepared
to believe all she should hear. A most interesting
forenoon with these people and several others.
May Zoo at length claims to be mentioned
—an old phariasical woman, who formerly attended
the Zayat, for no other purpose, apparently,
but to make a display of her wisdom. She had lately
become more quiet and humble, but with so much of
the old leavenremaining, that I had no hope of her.
To-day, however, she informs me, that three Sundays
ago, the truth entered her mind, and that she lay all the
ensuing night without sleep, meditating on the wondrous
character of God, and the strange things she had heard.
All the new inquirers, above-
mentioned, have been with me some part of the day.
Mah Doke, the last baptized, begins to take an active
part in conversation, and appears to great advantage.
She came accompanied by her friend, Mah Ing, a very
infrequent visitor, on account of the opposition of her
husband. He has lately gone on a journey, and,
during his absence, she ventures to attend worship.
She is a most attentive listener; but her timidity and
reserve render it difficult to ascertain the state of her
mind. I understand, however, that she occasionally
joins the three Nan-dau-gong sisters in their female
prayer meeting, and is highly esteemed by them.
A crowded assembly at
worship, as on the two last Lord’s days. Oo Nyo, a
former disciple of Moung Shway-gnong, and May
, an old woman, lately cured of blindness by
brother Price, deserve to be classed among the inquirers.
The latter is more noticeable, as having been a M12r 263
professed devotee of the strictest class, and for a long
time quite unaffected by all she heard concerning our
Moung Shway-gnong took his departure
for Shway-doung the residence of his family, intending
to join us again, on our way to Ava.
Moung Long, the one-eyed metaphysician,
and bosom disciple of the Tong-dwen teacher,
arrived this day from Shway-doung, with his wife,
May Wen-yo. The latter listened with the same candid
attention and good sense, which formerly distinguished
her, while her husband retains his characteristic
scepticism, politeness, and inflexibility.
May Mee came to request baptism.
When I perceived her aim, I endeavoured to impress
her mind with the solemn responsibility of a Christian
profession, and the great dangers to which she was
exposing herself in this world; enforcing my statement,
as usual, with the story of the iron mall; and she
went away in much distress.
Mah Ing sent her friend Mah Doke to inquire,
whether it was lawful for her to procure a divorce from
her husband, previous to being baptized; or, if not,
whether she might worship before the great pagoda,
in obedience to his command. Both questions were
answered to the negative. A most difficult, distressing
case. Her husband has threatened to accuse her to
government, and cause her to be put to death.
Men-oo also requested baptism; and I feel satisfied
that she has experienced divine grace, as well as
May Mee and Mah Ing.
Having been very busy, for several days
past, in making preparations for our journey to Ava, M12v 264
on which we are ordered to set out the 1820-08-2020th, in a boat
furnished by government.
May Mee and May Zoo continue to visit occasionally,
and both desire to be baptized; but with this
difference, that the former hesitates, and the latter is
urgent. Mah Ing has been obliged to stay away, on
account of her husband. Pah Kyah professes that his
mind is completely settled, and wishes to comply
with all the commands of Christ.
Company all the day.
After worship, May Zoo and Men-oo were approved
by the church and baptized.
Early in the morning, Moung Thay-
, mentioned 1822-07-14July 14th, came in, and taking me aside,
knelt down, raised his folded hands in the attitude of
reverence, and made a very pathetic and urgent application
for immediate baptism. He stated, that he had
considered the Christian religion for above two years;
that his mind was completely settled on every point;
and that, though he had been harassed with many
fears, he was now resolved to enter the service of Jesus
, and remain faithful until death, whatever the
consequences in this world might be.
May Mee, finding herself unable to
hold out any longer, presented herself for baptism,
and with Moung Thah-ay, was examined before the
church, and approved. The latter received baptism
immediately. May Mee will come to-morrow.
Our dpearture is delayed for two or three days, in
consequence of the death of the viceroy, Mya-day-
, which took place this afternoon.
Early in the morning, I administered
baptism to May Mee, the eighteenth Burman N1r 265
convert. Two more still remain: Moung Myat-lah
and Mah Ing; the one deterred by fear of government;
the other, by the fear of her husband. Add
to these a desirable number of hopeful inquirers; and
I feel, that I am leaving, at least for a time, one of the
most interesting fields of labour, that was ever opened
to a missionary. But the path of duty seems to lead
to Ava; and it is infinitely easy for God to open there
a more interesting field.
We are ordered to put our baggage on board the
boats to-morrow, and be ready to start the day following.”

That your valuable life may long be continued, a
blessing to your friends, your circle, and your country,
and that in heaven you may meet an innumerable
multitude of heathen souls, whose conversion was
effected by your unknown instrumentality, is the constant
prayer of,

My dear Sir,
Yours, affectionately and respectfully,


The following Letter, enclosed in one from Mr. Judson, written by
the Burmese convert, Moung Shway-bay, who is mentioned at
pages 208, and 216 it is thought will interest the Christian public,
and is therefore here given as extracted from an American publication.

Translation of a Letter, Written by Moung
, to Rev. Dr. Baldwin.

Moung Shway-bay, an inhabitant of Rangoon, a
town of Burmah, one who adheres to the religion
of Christ, and has been baptized, who meditates NN1v266
on the immeasurable, incalculable nature of the
divine splendour and glory of the Invisible, even
the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father, and
takes refuge in the wisdom and power and glory
of God, affectionately addresses the great teacher
Baldwin, a superintendent of missionary affairs
in the city of Boston, of America.

“Beloved Elder Brother, Though, in the present state, the places of our residence
are very far apart, and we have never met, yet
by means of letters, and of the words of teacher Yoodthan,
who has told me of you, I love you, and wish to
send you this letter. When the time arrives in which
we shall wholly put on Christ—him, in loving whom
we cannot tire, and in praising whom we can find no
end, and shall be adorned with those ornaments,
which the Lord will dispense to us out of the heavenly
treasure-house, that he has prepared, then we shall
love one another more perfectly than we do now.
Formerly I was in the habit of concealing my sins,
that they might not appear; but now I am convinced,
that I cannot conceal my sins from the Lord who sees
and knows all things; and that I cannot atone for
them, nor obtain atonement from my former objects of
worship. And accordingly, I count myself to have
lost all, under the elements of the world, and through
the grace of the faith of Christ only, to have gained
the spiritual graces and rewards pertaining to eternity,
which cannot be lost. Therefore, I have no ground
for boasting, pride, passion, and self-exaltation. And
without desiring the praise of men, or seeking my
own will, I wish to do the will of God the Father.
The members of the body, dead in trespasses and sins, N2r 267
displeasing to God, I desire to make instruments of
righteousness, not following the will of the flesh.
Worldly desire and heavenly desire being contrary,
the one to the other, and the desire of visible things
counteracting the desire of invisible things, I am as a
dead man. However, He quickens the dead. He
awakens those that sleep. He lifts up those that fall.
He opens blind eyes. He perforates deaf ears. He
lights a lamp in the great house of darkness. He relieves
the wretched. He feeds the hungry. The
words of such a benefactor, if we reject, we must die
for ever, and come to everlasting destruction. Which
circumstance considering, and meditating also on
sickness, old age, and death, incident to the present
state of mutability, I kneel and prostrate myself, and
pray before God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ,
who has made atonement for our sins, and make me
holy, and give me a repenting, believing, and loving
Formerly I trusted in my own merits, but now,
through the preaching and instruction of teacher
Yoodthan, I trust in the merit of the Lord Jesus
. The teacher, therefore, is the tree; we are
the blossoms and fruit. He has laboured to partake
of the fruit, and now the tree begins to bear. The
bread of life he has given, and we eat. The water
from the brook which flows from the top of Mount
, for the cleansing of all filth, he has brought,
and made us bathe and drink. The bread of which
we eat, will yet ferment and rise. The water which
we drink and bathe in, is the water of an unfailing
spring; and many will yet drink and bathe therein. N2 N2v 268
Then all things will be regenerated and changed. Now
we are strangers and pilgrims; and it is my desire,
without adhering to the things of this world, but longng
for my native abode, to consider and inquire, how
long I must labour here; to whom I ought to show
the light which I have obtained; when I ought to put
it up, and when disclose it.
The inhabitants of this country of Burmah, being
in the evil practice of forbidden lust, erroneous worship,
and false speech, deride the religion of Christ.
However, that we may bear patiently derision, and
persecution, and death, for the sake of the Lord Jesus
, pray for us. I do thus pray. For, elder brother,
I have to bear the threatening of my own brother,
and my brother-in-law, who say, ‘We will beat,
and bruise, and pound you; we will bring you into
great difficulty; you associate with false people; you
keep a false religion; and you speak false words.’

However, their false religion is the religion of death.
The doctrine of the cross is the religion of life, of
love, of faith. I am a servant of faith. Formerly I
was a servant of Satan. Now I am a servant of Christ.
And a good servant cannot but follow his master.
Moreover, the divine promises must be accomplished.
In this country of Burmah, are many strayed sheep.
Teacher Yoodthan, pitying them, has come to gather
them together, and to feed them in love. Some will
not listen, but run away. Some do listen and adhere
to him; and that our numbers may increase, we meet
together, and pray to the great Proprietor of the
Thus I, Moung Shway-bay, a disciple of teacher
Yoodthan, in Rangoon, write and send this letter to N3r 269
the great teacher Baldwin, who lives in Boston,
N.B. Translated from the Burman original, 1823-09-23Sept. 23, 1823. A. Judson, Jun.

Extract of a Letter from Rev. A. Judson, Jr.
to the Rev. Dr. Baldwin.

Reverend and Dear Sir,

I had the inexpressible happiness of welcoming
Mrs. Judson once more to the shores of Burmah, on
the 1823-12-055th inst. We are now on the eve of departure
for Ava.

My last letter from brother Price mentions, that
the king has inquired many times about my delay,
and the queen has expressed a strong desire to see
Mrs. Judson in her foreign dress. We sincerely hope
that her majesty’s curiosity will not be confined to

Mr. and Mrs. Wade appear in fine health and spirits,
and I am heartily rejoiced at their arrival, just at the
present time.

None scarcely of the letters from America by the
Bengal have reached me. The ship in which they
were forwarded from Calcutta to this port, being supposed
to be lost off the coast. My last from you,
therefore, is 1822-10-18Oct. 18, 1822; and previous to Mrs. Judson’s
arrival, I had not heard from her for nearly fourteen

I enclose the translation of a letter from Moung
, which has been lying by me some time, N3v 270
for want of a good opportuity of conveyance. He
received Mrs. Baldwin’s present to-day, and directly
obliged me to write out a translation of the note accompanying
it, and was highly gratified with both.

The appearance of this short letter, renders it unnecessary
to say that I write in haste, occasioned by
the state of our affairs, in prospect of immediate removal;
and have only time to add that I remain

Most affectionately yours,

A. Judson, Jun.

Letter XV.

My Dear Friend,

Shall I attempt to describe the sensations produced
by finding myself in this much-loved spot?—Yes, I
am really in Rangoon, at my own study table, and
surrounded by the same scene I have so frequently
described to you.

It appears to me now all a dream that I have been
in England, in America, and through all my wanderings
am at last returned, and find the same scene I
left. Who has so much cause for gratitude and
thankfulness as myself? Who is under so great obligations
to be entirely and exclusively devoted to God
as I am? Goodness and mercy have followed me all
my days, but the kind, protecting care of God has
been most conspicuously seen during my two years
absence from Rangoon.

In my usual style I will give you, my dear friend, N4r 271
an account of myself since I last wrote, as you are so
kind as to express so much pleasure in reading my
little narratives. On the 1822-06-2222nd June last, with a joyful
heart, I left my native shores for India, followed by
the prayers of thousands, who were collected on the
wharf to witness our departure. In a fine new ship,
a large airy cabin, with a kind obliging captain, I
found myself most pleasantly situated, and under the
direction of our heavenly Father, the winds and waves
were propitious, for we reached the sand heads in the
Bay of Bengal in a hundred and five days from Boston.
During our voyage, I had the happiness of witnessing
a most decided change in the captain, who, for
two months previously to our arrival at Calcutta,
devoted his whole time to the subject of religion,
and is resolved, on his return passage, to conduct
worship himself among his sailors on the Sabbath.

On my arrival in Bengal, you will readily imagine
my first inquiries were to ascertain what intelligence
had been received from Mr. Judson, and what prospects
of my speedy departure. The information received
from the former was animating and encouraging; but
respecting the latter, sad indeed, as it was expected
that no ship would sail for several months, as very
serious difficulties existed between the Burman and
British Governments. For several days my mind was
in a state of constant anxiety, but was instantaneously
relieved, by noticing a paragraph in the paper, advertising
a ship for Rangoon. I immediately engaged
my passage, and after a month’s residence in the kind
and hospitable family of the Rev. Mr. Thomason, I
embarked for Rangoon, where I safely arrived in nineteen

N4v 272

I dare not attempt to describe my feelings as the
ship advanced towards the Burman coast. It was late
in the evening when the vessel anchored; but the first
object which caught my eye, as the boat rowed toward
the shore, was Mr. Judson. From long expectation
and disappointment, he had acquired such an
habitual sadness and dejection of spirit, that it required
all my exertion to disperse it, and make him Mr. J.
again. He had not heard a word from me for thirteen
months, (owing to the failure of my letters) and the
very day I arrived, he had in despair yielded all hope
of my existence! I soon had the happiness of meeting
Mah Men-lay, Moung Shawway-bay, and others who are
still an honour to their profession. Mah Myat-lay,
the second female who was baptized, died in the triumphs
of hope a few months ago. She longed for the
hour of her release, and assured those who stood
around her that she would soon be in the presence of
Christ. Is not this one instance of the power of divine
grace more than a compensation for all our days
of darkness and distress, formerly spent in preparation
for our work?

Mr. Judson has his boats in readiness to proceed to
Ava, and to-morrow we go on board. He has obtained
considerable favour from high officers in Government,
and thinks our prospects at Ava very encouraging.
The king’s own brother, a very powerful
prince, has his attention excited by the Christian
religion, and has lately written a very kind, affectionate
letter to Mr. Judson, requesting his speedy return to
Ava, and to bring with him all the sacred books. See page 188. A
foreign female has never yet been introduced to the N5r 273
Burman Court, consequently much curiosity is excited
by the expectation of my arrival. May the God of
Heaven be our protector, and give us that wisdom
which is profitable to direct. I feel, my dear friend,
that I am about to begin anew my missionary work,
and need more grace, more resolution, and more spirituality
of feeling than ever before. We shall be
surrounded by despotism and idolatry, but the God of
Jacob is our hope, and in his hands we are as safe as
in our own loved America. He has evidently pointed
out to us the path of duty, and shall we fear to follow
where he leads? It is easy for God to open the heart
of the King and Queen, and make them a nursing
father and mother to the little church in Burmah. We
cannot hope and expect too much from God. He has
commanded us to open our mouths wide, and he will
fill them.

You shall hear from me on my arrival at the capital,
for I am resolved to keep you acquainted with all our
steps. I write this in great haste, being surrounded
by women and children, who are waiting their final
instructions. My schools will commence at Ava; my
hopes respecting them are very sanguine. I am much
gratified by your remarks relative to The History of
the Burman Mission
. The first edition was all sold
before I left America, though in so poor a dress.
Please to transmit to Mr. Lawson (who is the Agent
for our Board) all the money that has been collected
for the school, with this direction:—“For Mrs. Judson’s
Schools in the Burman Empire.”
I will give a
particular and faithful account of the commencement
and progress of my darling plan, for the information
of those who are interested in the schools. Mr. JudsonN5 N5v 274
would write, but every moment of his time is
employed in preparing and arranging our baggage.
He will write after our arrival at Ava.

The translation of the —New Testament is finished.
We will send you a copy of the whole when printed.

I know you will excuse this hasty, imperfect letter;
but could you know all the circumstances under
which I write, you would not be surprised at the inaccuracies.
I could not think of leaving Rangoon
without informing you of my safe arrival. Let us
assist each other in our way to heaven. Your letters
will animate and encourage me; mine may interest
you, from the circumstance of being written in a
heathen land. We shall, I trust, soon meet in heaven;
may our hearts, our best affections, be there long
before us. This life is a vapour, it will soon pass
away, and nothing will remain, excepting the services
we now perform for Christ. Be pleased to present our
warmest affections to our friend *****, whom
I shall never forget to love and respect. May you be
blessed my dear friend, and be made increasingly useful,
is the sincere wish of

Your old and most affectionate Friend,

Ann H. Judson.

Letter XVI.

Come, my dear friend, transport yourself for a
few moments from your retired home,and refresh
your imagination with a view of our floating conveyance
majestically passing the fertile banks of the N6r 275
Arah-wah-tee (Irrawaddy). And had your eye the
same power as imagination, could it rove with equal
rapidity over this widely extended globe, it would
doubtless be induced to rest on worthier and more
interesting objects, but could not find two happier
than your friend Ann and her beloved Judson. It is
one of those bright days peculiar to an Indian clime;
the cool refreshing breezes from the mountains with
which we are now encircled, while they unite with
the influence of the sun to produce a most delightful
temperature of air, invigorate our frames, and exhilirate
our spirits; the verdure and variety of scenery
exhibited on the banks of this noble river, every
where interspersed with native villages, and peasants’
tents, all conspire to increase those pleasant sensations
which our peculiar situation and circumstances are
calculated to excite. Our boat is so curiously constructed,
and so unlike every thing in your civilized
part of the world, that I hardly know in what language
to give a description so as to present it clearly
to your view: it is a rude, uncouth thing, and could
you behold it floating down the river Thames, you
might imagine that some ingenious fisherman had
attached a pair of wings to his little hut, and was
conveying it on a boat to your great metropolis, to
gratify the curious gaze of the idle multitude. It is
fifty feet in length and seven in width. Our rooms or
cabins, two in number, are built on the top, the boat
being too shallow to admit any thing of the kind
within, and constructed it in the form of a Burman
house, with a sloping roof. The rooms extend half
the length of the boat, the one we occupy is made of
rough boards, with a thatched roof, the other (occupied N6v 276
by the servants) of bamboo and mats. The
wings are formed by the extension of the floor on
each side, which makes a passage for the boatmen,
without entering our rooms. This heavy unwieldy
thing is urged forward almost entirely by manual
force, and is either drawn with ropes by the boatmen
walking on the banks, or pushed by long poles. But
so strong is the current at this season, and the wind
always against us, that our progress is slow indeed.
Yet in the midst of these inconveniences and privations,
we are happy, because the object we have in
view will bear examination. Were we thus penetrating
into the heart of this heathen empire for the purpose
of accumulating property, or gaining honour or renown,
from our fellow-creatures, it would not be an object
sufficient to support our minds under present circumstances,
in anticipation of future evils. But we
are assured that we are in the service of Him who
governs the world, who has said to his disciples, ‘Go
into all the world,’
&c.; and this is our support, and
the reward of all our exertions, ‘Lo, I am with you
always, even to the end of the world.’
Not a hair of
our head can be injured, but with the permission of
Him whose precious name we would make known to
these unenlightened heathen. Yes, my dear friend,
the consideration of the object we have in view, and
the brightening prospects relative to ultimate success,
fill us with joy, and make us happy, though in this
rude, solitary boat, far, far away from all christian society,
and no individual associate besides ourselves.
Our faithful Moung Ing is the only native Christian
with us, the others being at present scattered according
to circumstances. Three are already at Ava waiting N7r 277
our arrival, and Mah-men-lay and others will follow,
as soon as their domestic concerns will allow. Moung
, with whom you are already well acquainted, is a
firm, solid, and consistent Christian. He unites with
us daily in family worship, and frequently leads in
prayer, in our occasional religious conferences, when he
exhibits much spiritual feeling and strength of intellect.
We intend him for the teacher of our girls’ school, the
commencement of which is I trust at hand.
Again I take up my pen to converse a little with
you, though at this immense distance, and knowing,
as I do, that you can make no response for months and
perhaps years. Yet it is a precious privilege to communicate
our thoughts, feelings, and circumstances,
to those we love, though a reply be not the immediate
result. Now I will suppose you sitting the other side
of the trunk on which my writing-desk is placed, and
go on with my relation. We are slowly progressing
towards the capital of this very populous empire, and
have thus far been preserved from the numerous
dangers with which we are continually surrounded.
No robbers have yet made their appearance, though
we are frequently cautioned by the villagers to be on
our guard. We have our fire-arms in readiness every
evening, and when we have taken every precaution in
our power, commit ourselves to the care of our
heavenly Father, and lie down and sleep as quietly,
and feel as safe, as if we were at Bradford America. or in
London. As the season is so cool and dry, we almost
daily get a walk on the banks, and through the villages;
and at such seasons the natives are extremely N7v 278
amused at our strange appearance, having never before
seen a foreign female. As soon as we enter a village
or town, one calls to another to come quick and look,
when the women and children run out of their houses
and follow us till we enter the boat. Some will run
several rods before us, in order to have a fair view as
we approach them. If we happen to stop under the
shade of a banyan, as is frequently the case, all the
old men and women in the village are called and
brought to see what their eyes never before beheld.
But on such occasions we never experience any thing
like insult or disrespect; on the contrary, the exclamation
is, ‘Ha-ba-byce,’ how handsome they are,
how modest their dress, not even their hands are
visible. We seldom let them know we understand
their language, as our stay is not sufficiently long to
enter on religious subjects. In one instance, however,
the boat being a long time in doubling a point of land
which we had walked over, and the multitude being
assembled as usual, Mr. J. introduced the subject of
religion, when all were immediately silent and attentive.
Two or three white-headed heathen who were
present, encouraged it by asking pertinent questions.
A decent looking man, who appeared to be the school-
master of the village, coming into the circle just at
this time, Mr. J. handed him a tract, and requested
him to read aloud. The subject of the tract was an
account of the existence, perfections, and requirements
of the eternal God, our lost state by nature,
and redemption through Christ. When he had proceeded
half way through, he stopped, and exclaimed
to the multitude, that these were great subjects, that
such a writing was worthy to be copied, and requested N8r 279
Mr. J. to remain while he copied it. He was informed
that he might keep the tract, on condition that he
constantly read it to his neighbours. Many joined in
the petition that we would pass the remainder of the
day and night in the village; but our boat coming up,
we were obliged to leave them, not however until we
had sent up many secret petitions that the Holy Spirit
might bless that single tract to the salvation of many
of the dark, ignorant souls. A few days ago we had
an especial cause of gratitude to God for his preserving
care, when in imminent danger. In passing
through one of the strong rapids, with which this
river abounds, the rudder struck the bottom, which
turned the boat immediately across the current, and
laid her on her side. It being a cold morning our
door was shut, and the boat being on her side, it was
some moments before we could get it open, which
circumstance for a short time occasioned us to feel all
the horrors of shipwreck. Every thing outside of the
cabins, such as rice, cooking utensils, and the boatmen’s
mats, were all afloat. The steersman, however,
had presence of mind enough to cut the rudder
from the boat, which enabled the boatmen to raise
her from her side, and after drawing her to the shore,
and repairing her rudder, we proceeded on our way,
feeling more than ever our dependance on God, and
the importance of having our minds at all times
stayed on him. Our fears have been considerably excited
for a few days past, on beholding the martial
movements of the country. We understand that the
Emperor is determined on war with the English, and
has ordered an army to proceed with all possible dispatch
to Arrakan. Yesterday we passed the headquarters N8v 280
of the troops, and war-boats are continually
passing us. We know not what effect this war will
have upon our mission, or how much our own lives
will be endangered from the suspicion that we are
English. But we always have this consolation, that
God reigns, and that the greatest, as well as the
smallest events are under his direction.
I must now finish this long letter, as a gentleman is
on the point of going to Bengal, and has kindly offered
to take letters. We arrived in safety at this city
twenty days ago, after a pleasant trip of six weeks; we
had not a house to cover our heads on our arrival, nor
could we procure one which was sufficient to shelter
us from the burning rays of the sun. We were therefore
obliged to remain in our boat until we could
build: you will, I am sure, smile, when I tell you that
we built a house, and moved into it, in just a fortnight
from our arrival; it consists of three rooms
and a verandah, delightfully situated on the bank of
the river. The ground was given last year to Mr. J.
by the king, and is considered our own. The house we
now inhabit is designed for the school-house for my
girls, as soon as we can get another built for our own
use. The school has already commenced with three
little girls, whose shrill voices are now ringing in my
ears, while they read their lessons: they are fine
children, and improve as fast in reading and sewing as
any children in the world. I doubt not the school
will rapidly increase, as soon as we have time to look
around and make a selection. The Emperor, on account
of the present war with the English, is rather N9r 281
prejudiced against foreigners, consequently Mr. J.’s
reception at court was rather cool. I have not yet
been at the palace, as the king and all the royal family
went to Umera-poora, in a day after our arrival,
where they remain until the completion of the new
palace in the city, when they will take possession in
usual form, and Ava will in future be their residence.
My old friend, the lady of the viceroy of Rangoon,
came to see me as soon as she heard of my arrival,
and has promised to introduce me at court on the return
of the royal family. Her husband died during
my absence, and with his death all her power and
distinctions cease. She is a well-informed, sensible
woman, and there is much more hope of her attending
to the subject of religion in her private situation, than
when she was in public life. In a day or two after
our arrival, Mr. J. introduced me to Prince M. and
his Princess; they treated us with the greatest kindness.
The Princess took me into her inner apartments,
made me a handsome present, and invited me
to visit her frequently, and ordered her cart to be
prepared to convey me home. Prince M. is intelligent,
desirous of obtaining foreign information, and
has for some time been examining the Christian religion!
Oh! that a merciful God would enlighten
his mind, and make him a real disciple of the blessed
Redeemer. I hope to gain some influence over the
Princess, and induce her to read the —New Testament,
which is now in her own language. She is surrounded
at all times by twenty or thirty females, and who
knows but religious conversation may be blessed to
them, though the Princess herself should never be
benefited. We have here an uncommon field for usefulness, N9v 282
and if we may be only allowed to remain,
there is no doubt but much good would be done. My
health has been much improved during my voyages,
and I begin to hope that I may last yet some years;
but we are, in a literal sense, alone. We have not
half the means of obtaining intelligence from our
friends as when in Rangoon; and as for society, it is
so far out of the question, that we hardly think of
mentioning it. Dr. Price is our only missionary associate;
but he has married a native wife, and lives the
other side of the river. Mr. J. preaches every Sabbath
in the Doctor’s house, where he has something
of a congregation. We also have worship in Burman
every evening in our own house, so that a faint ray
of light is beginning to appear in this dark city.
Remember me most affectionately to s, whose
likeness is now hanging before me, and is almost the
only ornament in our little house. Pray kindly write
a line to Miss H., of Liverpool, and inform her that
the box of articles she forwarded arrived just as I
was leaving Calcutta. They were most acceptable,
as we have daily occasions for distributing them. Say
also that I intend writing to her very soon. Do not
forget to pray for
Your most affectionate Friend,A.H. Judson.”

Letter XVII.

My Dear Sir,

I will not attempt to describe the joyful sensations
produced, by finding myself once more in a situation N10r 283
to write to you, after an interval of two years. Yes,
two years of suffering and privation; the very recollection
of which often chills our feelings, and sickens
our hearts. Though unbelief has often prompted us
to say, that our afflictions were greater than we could
bear or deserved; yet our better feelings have triumphed
in the sovereign government of God, assured that
He would do all things well; and, if his pleasure,
could easily lessen our sufferings. Nor have we been
disappointed in our hopes; for, in his own time and
way, we have been extricated from all our difficulties,
and are now safe and happy under British protection.

Knowing your interest in the Burman mission, and
assured of personal sympathy and regard, I will endeavour,
in my usual way, to give you a general relation
of events for the last two years.

In my last to you, I mentioned that every thing had
a warlike appearance. The Burman government,
however, had no idea that the English were in earnest
in their communications, consequently, they heard
the report that Rangoon was taken with surprise and
amazement. No preparations had been made at that
port for the reception of strangers, and even the Viceroy
was absent. An army was immediately raised,
and ordered to march, under the command of Kyer-
(Kee-woongee), who was to be joined on his
way down by Sekayah-woon-gyee, having been recently
appointed Viceroy of Rangoon. The only fear
and anxiety which the King and Government then
manifested or expressed was, that the English at
Rangoon should hear of their approach, and, precipitately
leaving the country, deprive the Burmese
grandees of the pleasure of employing in their service N10v 284
as slaves, a few of the white strangers. “Send to
said one of the ladies of a Woon-gyee, “four
kala-pyoos, (white strangers,) to manage the affairs of
my household, as I hear they are trustworthy.”
to me,”
said a gay young sprig of the palace, “six
stout men to row my boat.”
The army, in their
gayest attire, danced and sung down the river, but few,
if any, ever danced back again; and the Kyee-woon-
found other commissions to execute than those
just given him. As soon as the first force was despatched,
the Government had leisure to look around,
and inquire into the cause of Rangoon’s being taken,
and the probable instruments of the arrival of those
strangers. It was at once concluded that spies were
in the country, who had communicated the state of
things, and invited the foreigners over: and who so
likely to be spies, as the three Englishmen, Rogers,
Gouger, and Laird, who, under the garb of merchants,
had plotted so much evil? They were all three accordingly
arrested, and put in confinement. We now
began, more than ever, to tremble for ourselves, and
lived in the hourly expectation of some dreadful
scene. In examining the accounts of Mr. Gouger, it
was found that Mr. Judson and Dr. Price had taken
money of him, which circumstance, to the uninformed
mind of a Burman, was sufficient evidence that they
also were spies, and in the employ of the English
Government, as they received their supplies from an
Englishman. The King had before been advised to
put the missionaries in confinement, but his reply had
been, “They are true men, let them remain.” He was
now, however, informed of the above-mentioned circumstance,
and, in an angry tone, issued an order for N11r 285
the immediate arrest of Dr. Price and Mr. Judson.
And now commenced a series of oppressive acts, which
we should before have thought human nature incapable
of committing.

On the 1824-06-088th of June, a city writer, at the head of a
dozen savages, with one, whose marked face denoted
him an executioner, rushed into the house, and demanded
Mr. Judson. “You are called by the King,”
said the writer, (a mode of expression, when about to
execute the King’s orders,) and instantly the small cord
was produced by the spotted face, who roughly seized
Mr. J., threw him on the floor, and tied his arms behind
him. The scene was now dreadful. The little
children were screaming with fear; the Burmans in
our employ running here and there, endeavouring
to escape from the hands of those unfeeling wretches;
and the Bengal servants, mute with amazement and
horror at the situation in which they saw their master.
I offered money to the executioner, and entreated him
to untie Mr. J., but in vain were my tears or entreaties:
they led him away, I knew not where; and I was left
guarded by ten men, who had received strict orders to
confine me close, and let no one go in or out. I retired
to my room, and attempted to pour out my soul to
Him, who, for our sakes, was bound and led away for
execution; and, even in that dreadful moment, I experienced
a degree of consolation hardly to be expected.
But this employment was of short duration.
The magistrate of that part of Ava in which we lived,
was in the verandah, continually calling me to come
out, and submit to his examination. Supposing that
all our letters and writings would be examined, and
feeling conscious of having noted down every occurrence N11v 286
since my arrival in Ava, I instantly destroyed
every thing of the kind, having no time to make a
selection; and then went out to receive the officer.
This writer was ordered to write down my name, age,
and country, the names of my four little Burman girls,
and those of the two Bengalee servants, then pronounced
us all as slaves of the King, and again ordered
the guard to watch me closely; and departed. It was
now near evening. With what anxiety I waited the
return of our faithful Moung Ing, who had followed
Mr. Judson at a short distance, to see what became of
him! I had then no doubt but I could procure the
release of Mr. J., (if he had not been executed,) by
getting a petition presented to the Queen. But I was
also a prisoner, and could not move out of the house.
After dark, Moung Ing returned with the intelligence,
that he saw Mr. J. conducted to the court house,
thence to the death prison, the gates of which were
closed, and he saw no more. What a night was now
before me! The uncertainty of Mr. Judson’s fate,
my own unprotected situation, and the savage conduct
of the ten Burmans, all conspired to make it the most
night I had ever passed. I barred the doors,
and retired with the four Burman children into the
inner room. The guard were constantly ordering me
to unbar the doors, and come out, as they could not
be assured of my safety, if I remained within. They
next threatened to go and inform the magistrate that
I had secreted myself, and that they must not be blamed
if I made my escape. Finding themselves unsuccessful
in their demands, they took the two servants,
and made their feet fast in the stocks. As I apparently
took no notice of this, they ordered the stocks to be N12r 287
raised, which makes the situation of the person confined
extremely painful. This I could not bear to see,
and promised them all a present in the morning, if
they would release the servants.

The next morning I sent Moung Ing with a piece
of silver, in order to gain admittance to the prison, to
ascertain the real state of Mr. Judson. He soon returned
with the information, that Mr. J., and Dr. P.,
and the three Englishmen, were all confined in the
inner prison, each with three pair of iron fetters, and
fastened to a long pole. My only concern now was,
how to get to the governor of the city, who has the
entire direction of prison affairs, in order to obtain,
at least, a mitigation of the sufferings of the missionaries.
I sent a request to the governor to allow
me to visit him with a present. The next day I received
an order, which was most readily obeyed, to
visit him. My present gained me a favourable reception,
and after listening attentively to my relation of
the brutal manner of Mr. J.’s arrest, and his present
horrid situation, he manifested considerable feeling,
severely reprimanded the writer, who allowed such
treatment, and then assured me he would make the
situation of the teachers more comfortable. He told
me, however, that I must consult with his head writer,
respecting the means, and immediately called and
introduced him to me. I shuddered to look at the
creature, for a more forbidding countenance was never
before seen. All the evil passions of human nature
seemed to have united in forming his face, and each
seemed to be be striving to gain the ascendancy. I found
to my sorrow, that, under the Governor, he had much
to do with the prison, and had power to make us suffer N12v287
much. He took me aside, told me, if I wished to
make the situation of the Missionaries more tolerable,
I must bring him two hundred tickals, and two pieces
of fine cloth, on the reception of which, he would
release Dr. Price and Mr. Judson from the
pole, and put them in another building, where
I should be allowed to send them pillows
and mats to sleep on, and their daily food. At the same
time, I obtained an order from the governor for an
interview with Mr. J., and, for the first time in my
life, looked into the interior of a Burman prison. The
wretched and ghastly appearance of the Missionaries
produced feelings indescribable, and forbad a moment’s
hesitation in producing the sum demanded for temporary
relief. Mr. J. was allowed to hobble to the
door of the prison, and after five minutes conversation,
I was ordered to depart, by a voice and manner to
which I had been unaccustomed, and which convinced
me, that those underlings felt that we were entirely in
their power. Our house was two miles from the
prison; and knowing that nothing could be done
without money, I had provided myself with a considerable
sum in the morning, which enabled me to
pay the two hundred tickals without delay, and the
same evening had the consolation of hearing that Mr.
and Dr. P. were in a better prison than I had found
them. My next object was to get a petition presented
to the Queen, the brother of whom is by far the most
powerful man in the empire. Our situation as
prisoners, rendered a personal interview with the
Queen impossible: I was obliged, therefore to address
her through the medium of her brother’s wife, who,
as are all the relations of the Queen, is of low origin, O1r 289
and consequently proud, haughty, and ambitious. I had
visited her in better days, and received distinguished
marks of her favour. But now the scene was
changed, Mr. J. was in irons, and I in distress, which
were reasons sufficient for a friged reception. I took
with me a valuable present, consisting of a gold-
wrought mantle, and other little trappings. Her
Ladyship was lolling in state, and hardly deigned to
raise her eyes, on my entrance into her splendid hall.
I took my seat, not at a respectful distance, nor at
her bidding, but as near as I could well approach,
that she might not loose a syllable of what I had to
communicate. I waited not for the question usually
asked, “What do you want?” grief made me bold—I
at once began a relation of our wrongs. I stated to
her that Dr. Price and Mr. Judson were Americans,
that they were ministers of religion, that they had
nothing to do with war or politics, and that she well
knew that even their residence in Ava was in consequence
of the King’s command. In vain I strove to work on
her hardened feelings, by requesting her to imagine
herself in my situation, a stranger in a foreign land,
and deprived of the protection of an only friend, who,
without any alledged crime, was thrown into prison
and fetters. She unfolded the present, and coolly said,
“Your case is not singular, the other white prisoners
suffer equally with your husband; I will, however,
present your petition to her Majesty, the Queen:
come again to-morrow.”
I went from her with a
little hope, and faint as it was, I endeavoured to communicate
the same to Mr. J., but my admittance was
strictly forbidden by the writer to whom I had given two
hundred tickals, and to whom we, in future, gave the O O1v 290
name of shark. The next morning I saw three of the
King’s officers pass, and was informed they had gone
to take possession of Mr. Gouger’s property, and that
on the morrow our house would be searched. I spent
the day, therefore, in making preparations to receive
them, arranging and secreting as many articles as
possible, knowing that we should be in a state of
starvation unless some of our property could be preserved.
I again endeavoured to gain addmittance to
Mr. Judson, but was refused. The three officers who
had taken possession, the day before, of Mr. Gouger’s
property, now came to take an account of ours.
Among the three was one named Koung-tong-myoo-
, who seemed to take an interest in my forlorn
situation, and who prevented the others from taking
many articles, which were afterwards, during our long
trial, of the greatest use. They first demanded my
silver, gold, and jewels. I replied, “That gold I had
none, jewels I had never worn since my residence in
their country, but here was the key of the trunk which
contained the silver, open and look for themselves.”

They seemd pleased with my offering them the key,
requested I would open the trunk, and that only one
person should be allowed to enter my inner-room to
take an account of the property. And here justice
obliges me to say, that the conduct of these Burman
officers in this transaction, was more humane and
civilized than any other we witnessed while in Ava. The
silver was weighed and laid aside. “Have you no
asked one of them. “Search for yourselves,”
replied I, “the house is at your disposal.”“Have
you not deposited money and jewels in the hands of
“I have no friends in this country: with O2r 291
whom should I deposit treasure?”
“Where is your
I produced an old one of Mr. J.’s which had
been out of use for a long time, but which answered
their purpose just as well, and was the means of preserving
a good one I had then about me. “Where
are your goods, your pieces of muslin, handkerchiefs,
“Mr. Judson is no merchant, he neither buys nor
sells, but subsists on the free offerings of the disciples of
Christ, who collected the money you have just
taken to build a church for the preaching of the Gospel.
Is it suitable to take the property of a Pongyee?”

(priest). “It is contrary to our wishes,” said Koung-
, “but we act in obedience to the King’s command.”
Our trunks of wearing apparel were then
examined. I begged they would not take them, as
they could be of no use to the King, but to us they
were invaluable. They said a list only should be
taken, and presented to his Majesty, when, if he gave
no further order, they should remain. They did the
same with regard to the books, medicine, and most of
the furniture, and on presenting the list to the King,
he gave an order that these articles should not be
taken at present. These gentlemen, however, took
everything new or curious, and whatever to them
seemed valuable. When they had finished, I gave
them tea, and begged the royal treasurer to intercede
for the release of Mr. Judson. After their departure,
I had an opportunity of going again to the queen’s
sister-in-law, who informed me that she had presented
my petition to the Queen, and that her reply was
“He is not to be executed, let him remain where he is.” I
felt now ready to sink down in despair, as there was
no hope of Mr. J.’s release from any other quarter; O2 O2v 292
but a recollection of the judge in the parable, who,
though he feared not God, nor regarded man, was
moved by the importunities of a widow, induced me
to resolve to continue my visits, until the object was
obtained. But here, also, I was disappointed; for
after my entreating her many times to use her influence
in obtaining the release of the Missionaries, she
became so irritated at my perseverance, that she refused
to answer my questions, and told me by her
looks and motions, that it would be dangerous to make
any further effort.

I find, my dear Sir, in being thus particular, my
letter will be stretched to an immoderate length, and
must therefore be more general. Suffice it to say,
that for the next seven months, hardly a day passed
in which I did not visit some one member of Government,
in order to interest their feelings on our behalf.
The King’s mother, sisters, and brother, each in their
turn, exerted their influence in our favour, but so great
was their fear of the Queen, that neither of them
ventured to make a direct application to his Majesty.
And although my various efforts were useless as to their
grand object, yet the hopes they excited kept our minds
from sinking, and enabled us to endure our long imprisonment
better than we otherwise could have done.
The last person to whom I applied, was the celebrated
Bundoolah, must previous to his departure for Rangoon.
He had gained some advantage over the native soldiers,
at Arracan, two hundred of whom he had sent as prisoners
to Ava; this, together with the circumstance
of his having obtained two or three thousand English
muskets, gained him a most favourable reception at
court, and every honour, in the power of the king to O3r 293
bestow, was heaped upon him. He daily presided at
the Lhoot-dau, had the entire management of affairs,
and, in fact, was the real king of the country. With
fear and trembling I presented to him a written petition
for the liberation of Dr. Price and Mr. Judson.
He listened to the petition attentively, made some
inquiries relative to our coming to Ava, and then said
he would reflect on the subject; “Come again to-
My hopes were now more sanguine than
ever, but the morrow dashed them all, when the proud
Bundoolah uttered, “I shall soon return from Rangoon,
when I will release the teachers, with all the other
The war was now prosecuted with all the
energy of which the Burmans are capable; their expectations
of complete victory were high, for their
general was invincible, and the glory of their king
would accompany their armies. The government
talked loudly of taking Bengal, when they had driven
the presumptuous creatures from their own territories,
and of destroying from the earth every white-faced
stranger. So great was their hatred to the very ap
pearance of a foreigner, that I frequently trembled
when walking the streets; and that I might not immediately
be recognized as a stranger, and sometimes
gain admittance into Mr. J.’s prison, I adopted the
Burman dress altogether. Extortion and oppression
had now become so familiar to us, that we daily expected
their appearance in some new garb or other.
Sometimes, for ten days together, I was not allowed
to see Mr. J., and even then could gain admittance
only after dark, when I was obliged to return to our
house, two miles, without an attendant. But the
means we invented for communication, were such as O3v 294
necessity alone could have suggested. At first I wrote
to him on a flat cake, baked for the purpose, and
buried it in a bowl of rice; and in return, he communicated
his situation on a piece of tile, on which, when
wet with water, the writing became invisible, but
when dried, perfectly legible. But after some months’
experience in the art of deception, we found the most
convenient, as well as safest mode of writing, was to
roll up a sheet of paper, and put it in the long nose of
a coffee-pot, in which I sent his tea. These circumstances
may appear trivial, but they also serve to show
to what straits and shifts we were driven. It would have
been a crime of the highest nature to be found making
communications to a prisoner, however nearly related.

Bundoolah departed from Ava, in all the pomp
and splendor imaginable, commanding an army of
between forty and fifty thousand men, and was to
join the Prince Thar-yar-wa-dee, who had marched
some months before, at the head of an equal number.
The two or three first reports of the invincible general
were of the most flattering nature, and were joyfully
received by the firing of cannon. Now “Rangoon
was surrounded by the Burman troops,”
then, “the
fort on the pagoda was taken,”
and “guns and ammunition
sufficient for the Burman army, should the war
continue ever so long:”
and next “his Majesty might
expect to hear, that not a white face remained in
But no such report ever came, the cannons
ceased to fire on the arrival of a boat, and
soon it was whispered about that the Burmans
were defeated, thousands of them killed, among
whom were many officers; and that Bundoolah and
the few that remained had fled to Danooboo! O, O4r 295
with what anxiety did we listen for the report that
“the English are advancing;” for in the arrival of the
foreign troops consisted our only hope of deliverance
from the hands of these savages. The war now lagged
on heavily on the part of the Burmans; and though
the King and Government continued to supply Bundoolah
with what he required, yet their confidence in
him was shaken, and their hopes far from sanguine.
The news at length came that the English army was
advancing, and that it was within twenty miles of
Danooboo. The town was all confusion, and the
Queen began to send away to a more secure place, her
immense treasure of gold, silver, &c. It was now the
1825-03-01first of March, the commencement of the hot season,
which in Ava is peculiarly severe. The white prisoners
were all put inside of the common prison, in
five pair of irons each, where they were so crowded
with Burman thieves and robbers, that they had not
sufficient room to lie down. There were at the time
near a hundred prisoners all in one room, without a
window or hole for the admittance of air, and the
door kept closed. I again applied to the Governor of
the city to allow the Missionaries to be removed to
their former place, or at least to let them remain
outside of the door, during the day. I offered him
money, and promised to reward him handsomely when
in my power, but all in vain. The old man shed tears
at my distress, said it was not in his power to comply
with my request, for his orders were from a high
quarter; that he had even been commanded to execute
all the white prisoners in private, and to keep them in
close confinement was as little as he could do. He
ordered, however, that they should be allowed to go O4v 296
outside of the door to eat their rice, and when inside,
to be placed as near the door as possible. I was afterwards
informed from good authority, that the
Queen’s brother, Men-tha-gyee, had ordered the governor
to destroy the kalars; but that the governor,
fearing they might be required by the King, dared not
obey the command. The situation of the white prisoners
was now wretched in the extreme. The heat
during the day was dreadful indeed, the confined air
deprived them of an inclination for food, and their
whole appearance exhibited more the appearance of
the dead than the living. I daily visited the governor,
and continued to entreat him to pity the foreigners.
Sometimes he appeared to feel for us, and seemed half
inclined to listen to my request. But the fear of Men-
doubtless prevented. It was now reported
that the foreign troops had reached Danooboo, and
whispered about that Bundoolah was dead! No one at
first ventured to say it openly, but the report was soon
conveyed officially to his Majesty, who was mute with
disappointment, while the Queen smote her breast, and
exclaimed, “Ama, ama!” What was to be done now?
Where could another general be found? and from what
quarter could troops be raised? The Prince and Woon-
at the Burman camp had intimated the necessity
of making peace; but this was too humiliating to be
thought of for a moment: “What,” said one of the
Woon-gyees at court, “shall we allow it to be recorded
in a future history of the country, that our
glorious King made peace with strangers, and gave
them part of his territory? No, we will all die first.”

The Pagan Woon-gyee, who had been in disgrace for
some time, and had even been in prison in three pair of O5r 297
fetters, now thought it a good opportunity to retrieve
his character and regain his influence. He petitioned
his Majesty to allow him to go at the head of a new
army, and positively assured the King, that he could
conquer the English, and drive them from Burmah.
He was immediately raised to the highest rank, and
all power committed to him. His first object was to
manifest his inveterate hatred to every foreigner; and
those who had for eleven months escaped confinement
now fell into his merciless hands, and were thrown
into prison. Among the number was Mr. Lansago, a
Spanish gentleman, who had for twenty years been
high in the King’s favour, and had done all in his
power to alleviate the sufferings of the foreign prisoners;
but he was now among them. Mr. Judson
had now been in close confinement, and in five pair of
fetters for a month, and with anguish indescribable I
saw him sinking under the weight of suffering. He
was taken with a high fever. My distress and entreaties
now prevailed with the governor of the city,
to give a written order, to remove Mr. J. from the
common prison into a little bamboo room, six feet
long and four wide. I also obtained an order for
liberty to give him medicine and visit him whenever I
wished. I had removed into the governor’s compound,
and was living in a bamboo house, where the themometer
daily rose to 106; but thought myself happily
situated to be near the prison, and allowed to visit Mr.
, who began now to hope he should recover from the
fever, as his situation was so much better than before.

But new and dreadful trials were yet before us. I
had gone in one morning to give Mr. J. his breakfast,
and intended spending a few hours as usual, when the O5 O5v 298
governor in great haste sent for me. I was agreeably
disappointed, on appearing before him, to find he had
nothing in particular to communicate, and that he was
uncommonly kind and obliging. He had detained me
a long time, when a servant came in hastily and whispered,
that the foreign prisoners had all been taken
out, and he knew not where they were carried. Without
speaking to the governor, I ran down the stairs
into the street, hoping to catch a sight of them, but
they were beyond the reach of my eye. I enquired of
all I met, which way the white prisoners were gone,
but no one knew. I returned again to the governor,
who declared he was perfectly ignorant of their fate,
and that he did not know of their being taken out of
prison till a few moments before. This was all false,
as he had evidently been detaining me to prevent my
witnessing the scene that was to follow. He also
said, with a meaning countenance, “You can do no
more for your husband,—take care of yourself.”
was a day never to be forgotten. I retired to my little
bamboo house, and endeavoured to obtain comfort
from the only true source; but my mind was in such
a distracted state, that I could not steadily reflect on
any thing. This one thought occupied my mind to
the exclusion of every other, that I had seen Mr. Judson
for the last time, and that he was probably now in
a state of extreme suffering. In the evening I heard
the prisoners were sent to Umerapoorah, but what was
to be their fate was not yet known. The next day I
obtained a pass from Government to follow Mr. Judson
with my little Maria, who was then only three
months old, and, with one Bengalee servant, set out
on my journey. We reached the government house O6r 299
at Umerapoorah, and were informed, the prisoners had
been sent off two hours before, to Oung-pen-lay, (a
place similar to Botany Bay,) whither I immediately
followed. I found Mr. J. in a most wretched state.
He had been dragged out of his little room the day
before, his shoes, hat, and clothes, excepting shirt and
pantaloons, been taken from him, and in his feeble
state of health, and in the hottest part of the day,
been literally driven ten miles with a rope tied round
his waist. His feet were torn in such a manner, that
for six weeks he was unable to stand. He was nearly
exhausted with pain and fatigue, when a servant of
Mr. G.’s, who had followed his master, took from his
head his turban, and gave part of it to Mr. J., who
hastily wrapped it about his feet, which enabled him
to proceed without sinking. He and Dr. Price were
now chained together, and, with the other prisoners,
put inside of a small wood prison almost gone to decay.
We afterwards were informed that the Pagan Woon
had sent the foreigners to this place with a design to
sacrifice them, in order to ensure success in his contemplated
expedition. But the King, suspecting him
of treasonable intentions, caused him to be executed
before he had time to accomplish his designs. I obtained
a little room from one of the jailors, where I
passed six months of constant and severe suffering,
without any mitigation. Mr. J. was much more comfortably
situated than when in the city prison, as he
had only one pair of fetters, and, when recovered from
his fever and wounds, was allowed to walk in the
prison enclosure. But I was deprived of every single
convenience, and my health, which had enabled me to
bear severe trials hitherto, now began to fail me. I O6v 300
was taken with one of the country disorders, and for
two months unable to go to Mr. J.’s prison. Our
little Maria, who had just recovered from the small-
pox, was near starving to death, as I could neither obtain
a nurse nor a drop of milk in the village. But our
merciful Father preserved us all through these dreadful
scenes, and at the expiration of six months an order
arrived for the release of Mr. J., and I was allowed
to return to our house in town. The King was much
in want of an interpreter, and from selfish motives had
given orders for the release of Mr. Judson, who was
immediately conducted to the Burmese camp, then at
Ma-lown, where he remained six weeks, translating
for his Majesty. He was then sent back to Ava, and-
as a reward for his services, ordered back to the Oung-
prison. But before the order could be executed,
I sent Moung Ing (being myself unable to move, having
been ill with the typhus fever in Mr. J.’s absence,
in which I lost my reason, and was senseless several
days) to Koung-tong, who was now high in office,
and had for a long time manifested a disposition to
help us, and begged he would intercede for Mr. J.,
and prevent his being sent again to prison. Koung-
complied with my request, offered to become
security for Mr. J., and took him to his house, where
he was kept a prisoner at large nearly two months
longer. The British troops were now so rapidly advancing,
that the King and Government felt the necessity
of taking some measures to prevent their arrival
at the capital. They had before several times refused
to listen to the terms which Sir Archibald Campbell
had offered, but they now saw there was no other hope
for the preservation of their golden city. Mr. J. was O7r 301
daily called to the palace, his opinion requested in all
their proceedings, and the Government finally entreated
him to go as their Ambassador to the English
camp. This he entirely declined, but advised their
sending Dr. Price, who had no objection to going.
Dr. P. being unsuccessful in his mission, on his return
Mr. J. was taken by force and sent with him again.
Sir Archibald had, before this, demanded us, together
with the other foreign prisoners, but the King had
refused, saying, “They are my people,—let them
We did not then venture to express a wish
to leave the country, fearing we should be immediately
sent to prison. Mr. J. communicated our real situation
to the General, who, with all the feelings of a
British officer, now demanded us in a way that his
Majesty dared not refuse; and on the 1826-02-2121st of February,
after an imprisonment of nearly two years, we took
our leave of the golden city and all its magnificence,
and turned our faces towards the British camp, then
within forty miles of Ava. No one can conceive our
joy when we had safely passed the Burman camp, for
then we felt indeed that we were once more free, and
out of the power of those “whose tender mercies
are cruel.”
The British General received us with all
that kindness and hospitality for which your countrymen
are so far famed, provided us with every comfort
during a fortnight’s residence at the camp, and kindly
sent us on to Rangoon in this gun-boat. We deeply
feel the kindness of Sir Archibald Campbell, for,
under the direction of Providence, he has been the
means of delivering us from the iron grasp of the
Burmans. May God reward him an hundred fold,
and prepare him for the future enjoyment of Heaven!

O7v 302 We have, my dear Sir, safely arrived in Rangoon,
and once more find ourselves in the old mission-house.
What shall we render to the Lord for all his mercies?
You will see from the public prints the treaty of peace.
We intend going to one of those places retained by
the English Government, and endeavour once more to
collect a little church around us. Mah-men-lay and
her sister we found at Prome. They are as pious as
ever, and will follow wherever we go. Burmah will
yet be given to Jesus for his inheritance! We are not
discouraged, but think our prospects brighter than
ever. We shall have as many schools as we can support
at Mergui or Tavoy, to which places the Burmese
population are flocking in crowds. We had not received
a word of intelligence until our arrival at the
British camp. We hear, however, there are many
letters for us in Bengal. Pray for us, that we may
be the means of turning many to righteousness.――
Mr. J. unites in most respectful regards.
Respectfully and affectionately yours, Ann H. Judson.”


Mrs. Judson’s Account of the American Baptist
Mission to the Burman Empire.

Extracts from Mr. Judson’s journal, during Mrs. Judson’s
absence from Burmah, containing an account of his
second visit to Ava, in 18221822.

“After much tedious detention, resulting from our
connection with government, brother Price and myself
set out from Rangoon, on the 1822-08-2828th of August, in a
boat furnished at the public expense; and on the 1822-09-2727th
of September
reached Ava, the present capital. We
were immediately introduced to the king, who received
brother Price very graciously, and made many enquiries
about his medical skill, but took no notice of
me, except as interpreter. The at-wen-woon Moung
, however, immediately recognized me, made a few
enquiries about my welfare, in presence of the king,
and after his majesty had withdrawn, conversed a
little on religious subjects, and gave me some private
encouragement to remain at the capital.
To-day the king noticed me for the first
time, though I have appeared before him nearly every
day since our arrival. After making some enquiries,
as usual, about brother Price, he added, ‘And you in
black, what are you? a medical man, too?’
‘Not a
medical man, but a teacher of religion, your majesty.’

He proceeded to make a few enquiries about my religion,
and then put the alarming question, whether O8v 304
any had embraced it. I evaded by saying, ‘Not here.’
He persisted, ‘Are there any in Rangoon?’ ‘There
are a few.’
‘Are they foreigners?’ I trembled for the
consequences of an answer, which might involve the
little church in ruin; but the truth must be sacrificed,
or the consequences hazarded, and I therefore replied,
‘There are some foreigners and some Burmans.’ He
remained silent a few moments, but presently shewed that he was not displeased, by asking a great variety of
questions on religion, and geography, and astronomy,
some of which were answered in such a satisfactory
manner, as to occasion a general expression of approbation
in all the court present. After his majesty
retired a than-dau-tsen (a royal secretary) entered into
conversation, and allowed me to expatiate on several
topics of the Christian religion, in my usual way. And
all this took place in the hearing of the very man,
now an at-wen-woon, who, many years ago, caused his
uncle to be tortured almost to death under the iron
mall, for renouncing Boodhism, and embracing the
—Roman Catholic religion! Thanks be to God, for the
encouragement of this day. The monarch of the
empire has distinctly understood that some of his subjects
have embraced the Christian religion, and his
wrath has been restrained. Let us then hope, that as
he becomes more acquainted with the excellence of
the religion, he will be more and more willing that his
subjects should embrace it.
Left the boat, and moved into the house
ordered to be erected for us by the king. A mere
temporary shed, however, it proves to be, scarcely
sufficient to screen us from the gaze of people without,
or from the rain above.. It is situated near the present O9r 305
palace, and joins the inclosure of Prince M――,
eldest half-brother of the king.
On our return from the palace, whither
we go every morning after breakfast, Prince M――
sent for me. I had seen him once before, in company
with brother Price, whom he called for medical advice.
To-day he wished to converse on science and religion.
He is a fine young man of twenty-eight, but greatly
disfigured by a paralytic affection of the arms and legs.
Being cut off from the usual sources of amusement,
and having associated a little with the Portuguese
padres who have lived at Ava, he has acquired a strong
taste for foreign science. My communications interested
him very much, and I found it difficult to get
away, until brother Price sent expressly for me to go
again to the palace.
Had a very interesting conversation, in
the palace, with two of the at-wen-woons and several
officers, on the being of God, and other topics of the
Christian religion. Some of them manifested a spirit
of candour and free inquiry, which greatly encouraged
Visited the at-wen-woon Moung Zah and
had a long conversation on the religion and customs
of foreigners, in which I endeavoured to comunicate
as much as possible of the Gospel. Upon the whole,
he appeared to be rather favourably disposed; and on
my taking leave, invited me respectfully to visit him
occasionally. Thence I proceeded to the palace;
and thence to the house of Prince M――, with
whom I had an hour’s uninterrupted conversation.
But I am sorry to find that he is rather amused with
the information I gave him, than disposed to consider O9v 306
it a matter of personal concern. I presented him with
a tract, which he received as a favour; and finally I
ventured to ask him, whether Burman subjects, who
should consider and embrace the Christian religion,
would be liable to persecution? He replied, ‘Not
under the reign of my brother. He has a good heart,
and wishes all to believe and worship as they please.’
Had some pleasant conversation with
Moung Zah, in the palace, partly in the hearing of
the king. At length his majesty came forward, and
honoured me with some personal notice for the second
time, inquired much about my country, and authorised
me to invite American ships to his dominions, assuring
them of protection, and offering every facility for the
purposes of trade.
While I lay ill with the fever and ague,
some days ago, a young man, brother of an officer of
Prince M――, visited me, and listened to a considerable
exposition of gospel truth. Since then, he
has occasionally called, and manifested a desire to
hear and know more. This evening he came to attend
our evening worship, and remained conversing till
nine o’clock. I hope that light is dawning on his mind.
He desires to know the truth, appears to be, in some
degree, sensible of his sins, and has some slight
apprehension of the love and grace of the Lord Jesus
Spent the forenoon with Prince M――.
He obtained, for the first time, some view of the
nature of the atonement, and cried out ‘Good, good.’
He then proposed a number of objections, which I
removed to his apparent satisfaction. Our subsequent
conversation turned, as usual, on points of geography O10r 307
and astronomy. He candidly acknowledged that he
could not resist my arguments in favour of the Copernican
system; and that, if he admitted them, he
must also admit that the Boodhist system was overthrown.
Made an introductory visit to the great
prince, so called, by way of eminence, being the only
brother of the queen, and sustaining the rank of chief
at-wen-woon. Have frequently met him at the palace,
where he has treated me rather uncourteously; and
my reception to-day was such as I had too much reason
to expect.
Spent part of the forenoon with Prince
and his wife, the Princess of S――, own
sister of the king. Gave her a copy of Mrs. Judson’s
Burman Catechism, with which she was much pleased.
They both appear to be somewhat attached to me, and
say, Do not return to Rangoon, but, when your wife
arrives, call her to Ava—the king will give you a piece
of ground, on which to build a kyoung, a house appropriated
to the residence of sacred characters.
Visited the at-wen-woon Moung K――,
whom I have frequently met at the palace, who has
treated me with distinguished candour. He received
me very politely, and, laying aside his official dignity,
entered into a most spirited dispute on various points
of religion. He pretended to maintain his ground
without the shadow of doubt; but I am inclined to
think that he has serious doubts. We parted in a very
friendly manner, and he invited me to visit him
Visited the Tset-kyah-woon-gyee, at his
particular request, with brother Price. He made the O10v 308
usual inquiries, medical and theological, and treated
us with marked politenes.
The woon-gyees, of which there are four, rank
next to the members of the royal family, being public
ministers of state
, and forming the high court of the
empire. The at-wen-woons, of which there are six or
seven, may be termed private ministers of state, forming
the privy council of the king. Next in rank to the
woon-gyees are the woon-douks, assistants or deputies
of the woon-gyees. The subordinate officers, both of
the palace and of the high court, are numerous.
Understood that, according to the public registers,
40,000 houses have removed from Ab-mah-rah-pore
to Ava, the new capital, and that 30,000 remain. The
Burmans reckon ten persons, great and small, to a
house, which gives 700,000 for the whole population
of the metropolis of Burmah.
Spent the whole forenoon with Prince
and his wife. Made a fuller disclosure than
ever before, of the nature of the Christian religion; the
object of Christians in sending me to this country; my
former repulse at court, and the reason of it; our
exposure to persecution in Rangoon; the affair of
Moung Shway-gnong; &c. &c. They entered into my
views and feelings with considerable interest; but both
said decidedly, that though the king would not himself
persecute any one on account of religion, he
would not give any order exempting from persecution,
but would leave his subjects, throughout
the empire, to the regular administration of the local
After giving the prince a succinct account of my
religious experience, I ventured to warn him of his O11r 309
danger, and urge him to make the Christian religion his
immediate personal concern. He appeared, for a
moment, to feel the force of what I said, but soon
replied, ‘I am yet young, only twenty-eight. I am
desirous of studying all the foreign arts and sciences.
My mind will then be enlarged, and I shall be capable
of judging whether the Christian religion be true or
‘But suppose your highness changes worlds in
the mean time!’
His countenance again fell. ‘It is
said he, ‘I know not when I shall die.’ I suggested
that it would be well to pray to God for light,
which, if obtained, would enable him at once to distinguish
between truth and falsehood; and so we
parted. O, Fountain of light! shed down one ray
into the mind of this amiable prince, that he may become
a patron of thine infant cause, and inherit an
eternal crown!
Another interview with Prince M――.
He seemed at one time almost ready to give up the
religion of Gaudama, and listened, with much eagerness
and pleasure, to the evidences of the Christian
religion. But presently two Burman teachers came
in, with whom he immediately joined, and contradicted
all I said.
Visited the Princess of T――, at her
particular request. She is the eldest own sister of the
king, and therefore, according to Burman laws, consigned
to perpetual celibacy. She had heard of me
from her brother-in-law, Prince M――, and wished
to converse on sciences and religion. Her chief officer
and the mayor of the city were present; and we carried
on a desultory conversation, such as necessarily
takes place on the first interview. Her highness O11v 310
treated me with uncommon affability and respect, and
invited me to call frequently.
Had an interesting interview with
Prince M――, and presented him with a copy of
the three last chapters of Matthew, in compliance with
his wish to have an account of the death and resurrection
of Jesus Christ.
In prosecuting the business of endeavouring to
procure a situation on which I might build a house, I
had one noticeable interview with the king. Brother
and two English gentlemen were present. The
king appeared to be attracted by our number, and
came towards us; but his conversation was directed
chiefly to me. He again enquired about the Burmans
who had embraced my religion. ‘Are they real Burmans?
Do they dress like Burmans?’
&c. I had
occasion to remark, that I preached every Sunday,
‘What! in Burman?’ Yes. ‘Let us hear how you
I hesitated. An at-wen-woon repeated the
order. I began with a form of worship which first
ascribes glory to God, and then declares the commands
of the law of the gospel; after which I stopt. ‘Go
said another at-wen-woon. The whole court was
profoundly silent. I proceeded with a few sentences,
declarative of the perfections of God, when his majesty’s
curiousity was satisfied, and he interrupted me.
In the course of subsequent conversation, he asked
what I had to say of Guaaudama? I replied that we all
knew he was the son of King Thog-dau-dah-nah; that
we regarded him as a wise man and a great teacher,
but did not call him God. ‘That is right,’ said
Moung K. N. (an at-wen-woon who has not hitherto
appeared very friendly to me,) as he proceeded to relate O12r 311
the substance of a long communication which I lately
made to him in the privy-council room about God and
Christ, &c. And this he did in a very clear and satisfactory
manner. Moung Zah, encouraged by all
this, really began to take the side of God, before his
majesty, and said, ‘Nearly all the world, your majesty,
believe in an eternal God; all, except Burmah and
Siam, these little spots!’
His majesty remained silent;
and after some desultory inquiries he abruptly rose
and retired.
To-day I informed the king that it was
my intention to return to Rangoon. ‘Will you proceed
thence to your own country?’
‘Only to Rangoon.’
His majesty gave an acquiescing nod. The
at-wen-woon Moung Zah, inquired, ‘Will you both
go, or will the doctor remain?’
I said that he would
remain. Brother Price made some remark on the
approaching hot season, and the inconvenience of our
present situation: on which Moung Zah, inferring
that it was on account of the climate that I was about
leaving, turned to me saying, ‘Then you will return
here after the hot season?’
I looked at the King, and
said, that if it was convenient, I would return; which
his majesty again sanctioned by an acquiescing nod and
smile; and in reply to Brother Price said, ‘Let a
place be given him.’
In the evening had a long conversation with
Moung Zah on religion. He believes that there
is an eternal God, and that Gaudama, Christ, and
Mohammed, and others are great teachers, who communicated
as much truth respectively as they could;
but that their communications are not the word of
God. I pressed my arguments as far as I dared; but O12v 312
he seemed to have reflected much on the subject, and
to have become quite settled and inflexible in his conclusions.
On parting, however, he remarked, ‘This
is a deep and difficult subject. Do you, teacher, consider
farther, and I also will consider.’”

Mr. Judson, after having made several unsuccessful
attempts to procure a scite for a dwelling house, and
especially one on the banks of the river, which had
been appropriated by the chief woon-gyee, thus writes:

“This evening I sought another interview with the
chief woon-gyee, and was so fortunate as to find him
at his house, lying down surrounded by forty or fifty
of his people. I pressed forward into the foremost
rank, and placed myself in a proper attitude. After a
while his eye fell upon me, and I held up a small bottle
of eau de luce, and desired to present it. One of his
officers carried it to him. He happened to be much
pleased with it, and sat upright—‘What kind of a
house do you intend to build?’
I told him, but added,
‘I have no place to build on, my lord.’ He remained
in a meditating attitude a few moments, and then
suddenly replied, ‘If you want the little enclosure, take
I expressed my gratitude. He began to take
more notice of me—enquired about my character and
profession, and then entered, with considerable spirit,
on the subject of religion. After some conversation,
he desired a specimen of my mode of worship and
preaching, and I was obliged to repeat much more
than I did before the king; for whenever I desisted,
he ordered me to go on. When his curiosity was
satisfied, he lay down, and I quietly retired.
Embarked in a small boat, intending
to go day and night, and touch no where, in order to P1r 313
avoid the robbers, of which we have lately had alarming
At one o’clock in the morning
reached Rangoon, seven days from Ava.
The Nan-dau-gong disciples soon came over from
Dah-lah, on the opposite side of the river, whither
they and the Pah-tsooan-doung disciples and inquirers
have taken refuge, to escape the heavy taxations and
the illegal harassments of every kind, allowed under
the new viceroy of Rangoon. Others of the disciples
have fled elsewhere, so that there is not a single one
remaining in Rangoon, except three or four with us.
The Nan-dau-gong disciples’ house has been demolished,
and their places taken by government, at the
instigation of their neighbours, who hate them on
account of religion. Mah Myat-lay died before the removal.
Her sister gave me the particulars of her
death. Some of her last expressions were—‘I put my
trust in Jesus Christ—I love to pray to him—am not
afraid of death—shall soon be with Christ in heaven.’
A letter from Mrs. Judson, in England, informs
me that she is going to America, and will not be here
under several months. I propose, therefore, waiting
her return, and occupying the interval in finishing the
translation of the —New Testament.”

There are some additional circumstances not adverted
to in this journal, but connected with the
history of the Burman Mission. One of these is, that
in addition to Dr. Price’s acquaintance with medical
science, he carried with him to Ava a galvanic battery,
the discharge of which, it may be well supposed,
astonished the emperor and all his court, and, for the
time, at least, appeared to secure from them a degree P P1v 314
of respect for those who shewd that they possessed
so much more knowledge than themselves. Dr. Price
writes to a friend in America:

My dear Brother,—It has pleased the Great Ruler
of the skies to bring us into the immediate presence
of the king of Burmah. Just one year from my reaching
Bengal, I was introduced into the palace of the
great emperor, and informed that I must make his
capital my place of residence. This is an event for
which we have longed and prayed, as calculated to
give stability to the mission in a land like this, where
all are respected according to the notice bestowed on
them by the king. Whether our anxious anticipations
will be realized, is known only to Him on whose
business we came, and who, we trust, has sent us
hither for good. Our reception was gratifying. We
were obliged to submit to no ceremony. As soon as
the king was informed of our arrival, a royal order
was issued for our immediate introduction. As we
entered, with the impatience of a despotic prince, he
called to know which was the doctor. We were
taken into an open court, and seated on a bamboo
floor, about ten feet from the chair of the monarch.
‘They are from the western continent,’ was the first
remark; after which, one great man delivered his
account to us. He then interrogated me as to my
skill in curing eyes, cutting out wens, setting broken
arms and legs, besides other things to which my skilL
did not extend. Our medicines were then called for,
and all my stock inspected. The surgical cases were
much admired. After looking at mine, the king sent
for his own; one case of which being unlike mine, he
immediately gave it into my hands to use. This I P2r 315
considered as equivalent to fixing me here for life.
After my galvanic pile had amused the king and his
courtiers for an hour, we were dismissed with an order
to look out a place we liked, and he would build a
house for us. An order was also given to look up all
the diseased people, and have my decision upon them.
The king is a man of small stature, very straight;
steps with a natural air of superiority, but has not the
least appearance of it in conversation. On the contrary,
he is always pleasant and good humoured, so
far as I have yet seen him. He wears a red finely
striped silk cloth from his waist to his knees, and a
blue and white handkerchief on his head. He has
apparently the good of his people, as well as the glory
of his kingdom at heart; and is encouraging foreign
merchants, and especially artisans, to settle in his
capital. A watchmaker at this moment could obtain
any favour he should please to ask. The same might
be vouched for a chair-maker, or cabinet-maker, &c.
as the king has wisdom enough to prefer foreign
manufacturers , when he sees their superiority to his
own. On the subject of religion, he appears, like all
his people, devoted to his idols. But he has never yet
persecuted for religion’s sake! O that he might yet be
brought to know and love the supreme God! Seventeen
millions of people, mad on their idols, demand the
active sympathy of a Christian people.”

In another communication, the following passage
occurs:—“About the middle of --04April last, Dr. P.
performed the operation for a cataract on both the
eyes of a Burman woman, who had been blind two or
three years. Soon after the experiment she could, by
the aid of spectacles, see to read distinctly. The fact P2v 316
excited so great a curiosity, that the house in which
the doctor resided, was thronged by visitors with diseased
eyes. So great was the concourse, that they
were obliged to bar the doors of their house, that they
might study, or eat, without interruption. With the
advice of Mr. Judson, Dr. Price has hired two or three
native converts to assist him in the performance for
good cataracts, and all easy surgical operations. By
the assistance of these men, whom he considers faithful,
he occupies two or three hours in a day in attending
to the cases presented. The governor’s wife has
sent for the doctor twice; and he is strongly inclined
to the hope that God will grant Mr. Judson and himself
the favour of the rulers of this land.”

These hopes were of course disappointed, in consequence
of the war that subsequently broke out; and
the extreme sufferings of the missionaries are detailed
in Mrs. Judson’s XVIIth Letter.

The last information received respecting Mr. Judson,
is, that he was present at the laying of the foundation of
a new town, to be named Amherst-town, in Martaban,
one of the provinces ceded to the British, and that he
had been engaged in offering up a public prayer on
that occasion. He had determined to accompany Mr.
, the envoy, to the court of Ava, as interpreter
and translator. It is added, that Mrs. Judson
and he are likely, eventually, to take up their residence
in that place, whither many of the Burmans are resorting,
there to prosecute, under the protection of the
British government, their work of Christian benevolence.


B. Bensley, Andover.