Adoniram Judson

You may wonder why I’m typing up these quotes now. Well, the reason is that I’m leaving Japan on Wednesday, so I really don’t want to carry the actual book with me, good as it was, and I may want to have one or two of these quotes handy for use during my deputation. See you soon! Please feel free to leave a comment if you’d like to get in touch with me while I’m in the states!
This is a quote from a letter that Judson wrote that I don’t agree with, but it’s interesting nonetheless with regards to the tons of short-term missionaries and few long-term missionaries that are going out these days. It’s a quote he wrote in response to some missionaries who came out only to serve for a few years:
“I much fear [he complained to the Corresponding Secretary at home] that this will occasion a breach in our mission. How can we, who are devoted for life, cordially take to our hearts one who is a mere hireling? … I have seen the beginning, middle, and end of severeal limited term missionaries. They are all good for nothing. Though brilliant in an English pulpit, they are incompetent for any real misisonary work. They come out for a few years, with the view of acquiring a stock of credit on which they may vegetate the rest of their days, in the congenial climate of their native land… The motto of every missionary, whether preacher, printer, or schoolmaster, ought to be “Devoted for life.” (pg. 435)
As I said, I don’t agree with his criticism of others. However, this is an example of a spirit that used to exist in missions but has, to a great extenet, disappeared: “Devoted for life.” To Judson, that was the missionary calling: to go and not return. Though I believe that in the modern age there is a place for short-termers and such, I nonetheless am fascinated by this old attitude that men like Judson had.
A short quote that fascinated me as I was pondering sanctifation while reading this book a while ago is this, which he wrote to one of his daughters: “If you trust in the Savious and try to be good, he will make you good.” (pg. 457) That’s it! I thought. That’s sanctification right there. We trust Him, we try, and He makes us good!
During a brief period of time in the states (after he had lived overseas for over 30 years), the biographer wrote this about him:
“Everywhere Adoniram had gone, people had insisted on regarding him as something more than human. On platform after platform he was extolled, much to his own distaste. In reaction, he had been cold, almost insulting, to the man and women who persisted in viewing him as a plaster saint. Time after time, he had disappointed audiences by refusing to discuss his adventures and instead repeating to them the simple message of the Gospel they heard every Sunday from their own ministers. They could see for themselves, so he thought, that he was a man like other men, with a family and family cares, with the failties and foibles of other men. Nevertheless, many preferred the legend to the man.” (pg. 461)
Finally, a quote from Adoniram himself: “’Trust in God and kep your powder dry’ was Cromwell’s word to his soldiers. ‘Trust in God and love one another’ is, I think, a better watchword.” (pg. 474)
All quotes taken from To the Golden Shore, by Courtney Anderson, (c) 1956, 1987, Judson press
By | 2013-12-03T23:14:54+00:00 November 9th, 2009|Quotes, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Adoniram Judson