Saturday August 9th, 1788: The birthday of Adoniram Judson

In celebration of Adoniram Judson’s birthday I thought I would share the following quotation. It is taken from The Life of Sara Bordman Judson, his second wife, just before her death.

“They bore her to the ship, while both fair and dusky faces circled round; and long did the sound of those loved, farewell voices, half-smothered in grief and choked with tears, dwell upon her ear and heart. Near the Isle of France, hope of final recovery grew so strong, that it becamse almost certainty, (as much certainty as ever attends the prospects of mortals,) and now a voice from poor, perishing Burmah seemed calling on the invalid for one more sacrifice. She dared not go back herself, but there seemed no longer a necessity for calling her husband from his missionary labour. He should return to his lonely home, and she, with her children, would pursue a way as lonely toward the “setting sun.” It was after this resoultion that the following lines, the last words ever traced by her fingers, were penciled on a scrap of broken paper:

“We part on this great islet, Love,
Thou for the Eastern main,
I, for the setting sun, Love–
Oh, when to meet again?

My heart is sad for thee, Love,
For lone thy way will be;
And oft thy tears will fall, Love,
For thy children and for me.

The music of thy daughter’s voice
Thou’lt miss for many a year;
And the merry shout of thine elder boys,
Thou’lt list in vain to hear.

When we knelt to see our Henry die,
And heard his last faint moan,
Each wiped the tear from other’s eye–
Now, each must weep alone.

My tears fall fast for thee. Love,–
How can I say farewell?
But go;–thy God be with thee, Love
Thy heart’s deep grief to quell!

Yet my spirit clings to thine, Love,
Thy soul remains with me,
And oft we’ll hold communion sweet,
O’er the dark and distant sea.

And who can paint our mutual joy,
When, al our wanderings o’er,
We both shall clast our infants three,
At home, on Burman’s shore.

But higher shall our raptures glow,
On yon celestial plain,
When the loved and parted here below
Meet, ne’er to part again

Then gird thine armor on, Love,
Nor faint thou by the way,
Till Boodh shall fall, and Burmah’s sons
Shall own Messiah’s sway.

Dr. Judson is an old Christian soldier, but he never heard a more animating and sustaing word, amidst his conflicts, than the parting song of his wife. It will ring in his ear till he dies, and then again he wil hear her angel-voice in heaven.”


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