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You are watching: Who was the father of american missions


by Brian Trainer

Adoniram Judson is frequently called the “Father of American Missions.” This location is proper. Judson to be the first minister of the gospel to depart native American shores in order to dedicate himself to the proclamation of Jesus Christ to the heathen abroad. Several aspects of Judson’s ministry knife him the position of “Father” or originator. First, Judson to be a vocational minister. In other words, his financial support was raised completely from his gospel ministry. Second, the departed indigenous the borders of America. David Brainard and others were home missionaries in ~ the recognized territory the the united States, however God command Judson to leaving the country. Third, Judson’s whole financial support was derived from regional churches in the united States. By faith, churches determined to support a male who would represent them abroad. Fourth, Judson was the very first American to accept this task of people evangelization. Though others went with him, Judson to be the recognized leader and also the one whose international ministry prolonged the longest time span. These 4 elements linked earn Judson the title together “Father of American Missions.” together such, Judson’s life and also ministry is a sample upon which various other missionaries, indigenous his contemporaries until the present, deserve to look because that instruction and also encouragement.


Judson’s life and ministry can not be extended adequately in this brief article. As soon as surveying Judson’s life and ministry, multiple joys, discouragements, and transforming points are conveniently noted. Among these transforming points occurred after Judson left America and prior come his come in Burma, which would certainly be his house for thirty-eight years. He decided to disapprove pedobaptism and also become a post-conversion immersionist, a resolution the shook the ecclesiastical world of his day. This decision showed to be not just a personal turning suggest for Judson, however it subsequently compelled American Baptists together a entirety to sign up with the efforts of people evangelization. Our objective in this post is come briefly inspection Judson’s life prior to his foreign service, his decision to come to be an immersionist, and also the eventual an answer to his decision.

Judson’s Conversion

Adoniram Judson was born on august 9, 1788, in Malden, Massachusetts. He was the eldest kid of Adoniram Judson Sr, a Congregational minister. At very early age, Adoniram’s parents known his intellectual prowess. In fact, by age three he could read an entire chapter of the Bible. By age ten, Judson had actually a call for his ability in both arithmetic and Greek. In 1804, at the young period of sixteen, he entered Providence College, subsequently dubbed Brown University. Three years later, Judson graduated as the valedictorian. This was followed by a quick stint as a teacher in Plymouth, Massachusetts, whereby he authored “Elements that English Grammar” and “The Young Lady’s Arithmetic,” both second level textbooks.

Judson’s excellence in the kingdom of student was not accompanied by a pursuit of his parents’ God. To it is in sure, Judson was acquainted v the piety that his parents and also had an intellectual knowledge of the Scriptures, yet he personally rubbish God. Influenced by a college friend, Jacob Eames, Adoniram espoused the theology that Deism and also proclaimed himself a “free thinker.” His newfound belief led come open controversy with his stern, Congregational father. Can not to factor with his father and longing because that the world pleasures, Judson travel to new York City to look for a life of independence from his parents’ spiritual pressure. The brief visit was discouraging together his company of friends rotate to petty theft and crime to make ends meet. Judson had no ar to go, but back home.

On his journey home, he had occasion to stay at an inn. The events of this evening changed the course of his life, as his boy Edward later recounts:

The following night he quit at a country inn. The landlord mentioned, as he lighted him to his room, that he had actually been obliged to location him following door come a young male who was exceedingly ill, probably in a dice state; yet he hoped that it would certainly occasion the no uneasiness. Judson assured him that, beyond pity for the poor sick man, that should have actually no feeling whatever, and that now, having heard that the circumstance, his pity would not of food be enhanced by the nearness of the object. However it was, nevertheless, a really restless night. Sounds came from the sick-chamber—sometimes the movements of the watchers, sometimes the groans of the sufferer; but it was no these i m sorry disturbed him. He assumed of what the landlord had actually said—the stranger was probably in a dice state; and was that prepared? Alone, and also the dead of night, he felt a blush of shame steal over him at the question, for it proved the shallowness that his philosophy. What would his so late companions say to his weakness? The clear-minded, intellectual, witty E—, what would certainly he to speak to together consummate boyishness? but still his thoughts would revert come the ailing man. To be he a Christian, calm and solid in the expect of a glorious immortality? Or was he shuddering ~ above the brink the a dark, unknown future? probably he to be a ‘freethinker,’ education by Christian parents, and prayed end by a Christian mother. The landlord had described him together a young man; and also in creativity he was forced to location himself upon the dying bed, though he strove through all his might against it. At last morning came, and the bright flood of irradiate which it poured into his chamber dispelled every his ‘superstitious illusions.’ As shortly as he had actually risen, that went looking for the landlord, and also inquired because that his fellow-lodger. ‘He is dead,’ to be the reply. ‘Dead!’ ‘Yes, the is gone, poor fellow! The medical professional said that would more than likely not make it through the night.’ ‘Do you know who he was?’ ‘O, yes; it was a young male from Providence College—a an extremely fine fellow; his surname was E—’ Judson was completely stunned. After ~ hours had actually passed, he knew not how, the attempted to pursue his journey. But one single thought inhabited his mind, and also the words, Dead! lost! lost! were continually ringing in his ears. He knew the religion of the holy bible to it is in true; that felt the truth; and he remained in despair. In this state of psychic he fixed to abandon his plan of travelling, and also at as soon as turned his horse’s head towards Plymouth.

Throughout the remainder of Adoniram Judson’s life, he attributed the events of this night for changing the direction of his life.

On October 12, 1808, Judson was accepted as a “special student” in ~ Andover Seminary—“special” in that he had actually not make a profession of faith. ~ above December 2, 1808, that adjusted when Judson make a solemn dedication of himself to God. In September 1809, simply one year shy of his conversion, Judson was giving serious contemplation to civilization missions. In February 1810, he resolved to be a missionary come the heathen abroad.

The call to Service

The events that complied with are landmarks for the American objectives movement. Several men from Andover College—Samuel Mills, James Richards, Luther Rice, Samuel Nott, Gordon Hall, Samuel Newell, and Adoniram Judson—formed a missionary fraternity with the score to represent Christ and also the Congregational churches on the international mission field. These guys prompted the basic Association the Congregational church to type the American board of Commissioners for international Missions on June 28, 1810. The first meeting of that board was held on September 5, 1810. Dr. Samuel Worcester to be appointed equivalent secretary.

The an initial action take away by the plank was to recognize whether there would be a relationship between the American mission board and also that the the London Missionary Society. The London Missionary culture had currently sent Mr. Wilhelm Carey together its very first missionary abroad, and it to be enlisting others to sign up with Carey in India or to expand the mission venture to various other nations. The American board hoped to elicit cooperation and financial support from their brethren in England, and also consequently selected Judson to take trip to London to achieve this task of communication. Judson’s mission come London met with limited success. When the London society was not willing come offer help to the American Board, it to be willing to enlist 4 men—Judson, Newell, Nott, and Gordon—into the occupational of the London Society.

This setup was no acceptable come the American Board, and on September 18, 1811, the plank voted to advise the 4 men in inquiry “not to location themselves at present under the direction of the London Missionary Society, however to wait the additional intimations that Providence family member to our method of furnishing them through the requisite assistance in the proposed international mission.” This appeal consequently charted the direction for the American missions movement: American missionaries were to be supported by American churches. Together a result, the American plank ordained Newell, Judson, Nott, Hall, and Rice because that the gospel ministry as missionaries come Asia top top Thursday, February 6, 1812. On February 19, 1812, Adoniram and Ann Judson and also Samuel and also Harriet Newell embarked indigenous Plymouth in the brig Caravan bound for Calcutta. The Notts, Halls, and also Luther Rice embarked in ~ a later date from Philadelphia top top the Harmony. The Caravan arrived in Calcutta ~ above June 17, 1812, and the Harmony arrived on July 8, 1812. The American international missionary movement had actually begun.


Adoniram Judson left the shores of America together an educated, ordained, and also commissioned Congregationalist missionary. In ~ no time in his early on writings is over there a concern of doubt about his position on baptism. Together a Congregationalist, he exercised pedobaptism. Yet doubt’s shadow began to darken his mind together he learned the problem in i from Plymouth to Calcutta. In ~ a period of four months, Judson’s doubt increased to together heights the his convictions on the concern shifted from the place of pedobaptism to post-conversion immersion. In doing so, Judson isolated himself from his co-workers, his mission board, his house church, and also his family. Judson records this theological trip in two far-ranging historical documents. The an initial is a letter to his home church, in which he communicates the an individual and doctrinal battles he withstood while making this decision. The second paper is a “sermon,” perhaps better called a writing today, ~ above the subject of baptism.

The chance for research of the subject of Baptism

Three occasions prompted Judson’s research of the worry of baptism when on board the Caravan. First, while he was in Andover he had been functioning on a translate into of the Greek brand-new Testament. This normally led the to inspection the suitable translation for words bapti,zw (baptizo). Second, Judson lugged with him letter from Dr. Worcester to Dr. Wilhelm Carey questioning for help from the English Baptist missionaries. Judson, knowing that the issue of baptism would arise, want to be able to give a simply defense that his position of pedobaptism. 3rd and foremost, back Judson was an educated and also ordained minister, he personally had no ministerial experience. Thus, Judson because that the an initial time needed to affirm what he was going to practice in the ministry. In the opened lines that his letter residence he writes:

You will readily think me, as soon as I say, the on leaving my country, I small imagined, the I need to ever become a Baptist. I had not without doubt candidly examined the topic of baptism; however I had solid prejudices against the sect, that is every where spoken against.

It was on plank the vessel, in possibility of mine future life amongst the heathen, that i was resulted in investigate this crucial subject. Ns was going forth to proclaim the happy news the salvation through Jesus Christ. I hoped, that my ministrations would certainly be blessed come the counter of souls. In the case, i felt that ns should have no hesitation worrying my duty come the converts, it gift plainly commanded in scripture, the such are to be baptized, and received into church fellowship. However how, thought I, am ns to treat the unconverted children and domestics that the converts? are they to be thought about members of the church that Christ, through virtue of the conversion of the head of your family, or not? If castle are, chandelier I no to treat them together such? after ~ they room baptized, have the right to I consistently set them aside, as aliens native the republic of Israel, till they space readmitted? If they are not to be taken into consideration members of the church, deserve to I consistently carry out to castle the initiating ordinance that the church?

These questions troubled Judson’s mind. That knew he had actually to come at biblical answers front to beginning his set abroad. Practice based upon tradition or upbringing was not sufficient. Biblical reality must it is in the foundation on which Judson stood.

Searching the Scriptures: The mode of Baptism

As Judson searched the scriptures for answers come his questions, his study proceeded upon two tracks: the an interpretation of words “baptism” and the meaning of the ordinance in Scriptures. Concerning the very first line that study, Judson do the following conclusions:

The primitive native ba,ptw (bapto) from which words denoting baptism, is derived, signifies immersion. This, through the basic consent that the Pedobaptists themselves, is as lot the appropriate meaning of the Greek word, as of the English word, dip or immerse.

The indigenous denoting baptism (bapti,zw)(baptizo) is acquired from the verbal of this primitive indigenous (baptoz) (baptoz) by a readjust in the termination, which, follow to an established principle in the Greek language, never ever affects the primary idea; yet when make on words, express a quality or attribute, merely conveys the added idea that causing or making.

The indigenous which denotes the action of baptizing, according to the consumption of Greek writers, uniformly signifies or indicates immersion.

That immersion is the exclusive signification the the word, shows up from the adhering to testimonies of eminent Pedobaptist authors, who concessions top top this subject could not have actually been affected by Baptist partialities, but must have resulted indigenous a conviction of fact alone.

There are no instances, in the new Testament which require us to depart indigenous the etymological and established interpretation the the word.

The places chosen for the administration of the ordinance, and also the scenarios attending those instances, in i m sorry the action of baptizing as specifically described, in the new Testament, plainly show immersion.

The idea the immersion is the only one, which will certainly suit all the assorted connections, in which words is used in the new Testament.

Under each allude made, Judson said extensively the various new Testament i that supported his assertions. He was convinced that the word “baptism” must average immersion. The notes:

But throughout the whole new Testament, I might find nothing that looked like sprinkling, in link with the ordinance the baptism. It showed up to me, that a plain human being should, without any kind of previous information on the subject, review through the brand-new Testament, he would never obtain the idea, that baptism consist of in sprinkling.

Judson’s setting of baptism to be scripturally settled. He would be one immersionist. One concern still lingered, however: who must be baptized?

Searching the Scriptures: The subjects of Baptism

Judson obtained his theological education and learning under the interpretative hermeneutic of covenant theology, i beg your pardon concludes the the relationship between Abraham, Israel, and also the church is without substantial distinction. As Judson approached the practice of baptism, the was forced to reinvestigate the relationship between these three entities. Were they analogous? to be the covenantal rites that circumcision and baptism identical? Judson’s conclusions to this arguments detailed him with the answer come the inquiry that had been troubling him: who space the rightful attendees in Christian baptism? He composed to his home church regarding his discoveries:

When ns proceeded come consider details passages, which are thought to favor the Pedobaptist system, (1 Cor. 7:14; action 2:39; Matt. 19:14, 18:3; acts 16:34; 1 Cor. 1:16) I discovered nothing satisfactory.

In a word, I might not find a solitary intimation, in the brand-new Testament, that the children and domestics of believers were members of the church, or entitled to any kind of church ordinance, in repercussion of the profession of the head of their family. Every little thing discountenanced this idea. As soon as baptism was spoken of, that was always in connection with believing. None yet believers to be commanded to be baptized; and also it go not appear to my mind that any others to be baptized.

Here, then, showed up a striking difference between the Abrahamic and also the Christian systems. The one known the membership of children, domestics, and remote progeny of professors, and likewise tended straight to the facility of a national religion. The other appeared to be a selective system, acknowledging none as members that the church, however such as gave credible proof of believing in Christ.

This led me to suspect, that these 2 systems, therefore evidently different, could not be one and the same. And also now the light began to dawn. The much more I read, and also the much more I meditated top top the subject, the more clearly it showed up to me, the all my errors and difficulties had originated, in confounding these two systems.

I cannot describe to you, dear brethren, the light and satisfaction, which i obtained, in acquisition this watch of the matter, in considering the two churches distinct, and in classing my principles of every in their appropriate place. I came to be possessed of a key, the unlocked plenty of a difficulty, which had long perplexed me. And the an ext I check out the Bible, the more clearly I saw, that this was the true mechanism therein revealed.

But on the other hand, if you embrace and practice the Abrahamic system, you will inevitably confound the church and the world; you will receive into the church multitudes who room destitute of those qualifications, which room represented, in the new Testament, as requisite come constitute a member that the kingdom i beg your pardon Christ collection up; you will certainly ultimately develop a national religion; and this will certainly be as contrary come the system laid down in the new Testament.

These excerpts indigenous Judson’s letter reflect the major interpretative change in his hermeneutic. It additionally indicates the reason Judson became not only an immersionist, but a post-conversion immersionist. Since post-conversion immersion is the primary difference of the Baptist church, in a word Adoniram Judson ended up being a Baptist.

The personal Cost

Judson’s decision to become a Baptist was no made without a an excellent deal of personal thought and grief. Judson defined his place as “being in the grip of a Gordian knot.” He reflect on the expense of his decision in his letter home:

But while I acquired light and satisfaction top top one side, i was plunged in difficulty and distress top top the other. If, thought I, this mechanism is the true one, if the Christian church is no a continuation of the Jewish, if the agreement of circumcision is not precisely the covenant in which Christians currently stand, the whole structure of Pedobaptism is gone; over there is no continuing to be ground for the management of any type of church ordinance, come the children and also domestics that professors; and it complies with inevitably, that I, who was christened in infancy, ~ above the faith of my parents, have actually never yet obtained Christian baptism. Should I, then, forsake my parents, the church through which i stand connected, the culture under who patronage I have come out, the companions of mine missionary undertaking? need to I forfeit the great opinion of every my friend in my indigenous land, occasioning grief come some, and also provoking others to anger, and also be related to henceforth, by every my previous dear acquaintance, as a weak, despicable Baptist, who has not sense enough to understand the connection between the Abrahamic and also the Christian systems? all this was mortifying; it was hard to flesh and also blood. Yet I believed again — that is better to be guided by the opinion the Christ, that is the truth, 보다 by the opinion that men, however good, who I understand to it is in in one error.

I saw, that, in a double sense, i was unbaptized, and also I feel the command the Christ pressing my conscience. Currently if i quieted mine conscience in to the to mine own personal baptism, and also concluded, that on account that my peculiar circumstances, that was best to consult my own convenience, quite than the command the Christ, still the concern would return, with redoubled force, —How am i to law the children and domestics of converted heathen? This was the start of every my difficulties, and this, top top Pedobaptist principles, I can not resolve, through the Bible, or by any kind of books that i consulted.

I have been sensible, the my change of emotion would give much ache to countless whom i loved and also respected, to the members the the church i am now addressing, and to my honored father, your pastor. This reflection to be the greatest trial attending mine baptism. That was natural for me, therefore, to it is in desirous of showing you clearly the extremity to which ns was reduced, and also the potency of those disagreements which constrained me to end up being a Baptist; hoping that you would, by that means, be brought about sympathize through me, in the exercises of mind the I have actually experienced, and also be willing to admit, that my conduct has actually not been the an outcome of short-lived caprice, or the still much more reprehensible impact of interested and sinister motives. Ns solemnly profess to have actually done this point from a solitary regard to truth and duty. I have not altered my sentiments ~ above any point of doctrine, or Christian experience. My love tells me, too ~ brethren, that i am tho on with you, though us differ on the subject of baptism.

To end up being a “weak, despicable Baptist” to be not merely a an individual issue. His wife, Ann, was intimately associated in the theological journey, and also in each dispute she decided the side of pedobaptism.She listened attentively come his argumentation and also studied the bibles personally, and also though she experienced the reasoning, she to be hesitant. She wrote these native to she parents: “I do the efforts to have actually him provide it up, and rest to solve in his old sentiments, and also frequently told him, if he became a Baptist, I would not.” Upon showing up in Calcutta, Ann studied the subject as soon as again “with every my prejudices ~ above the Pedobaptist side.” ultimately she capitulated, no based top top marital pressure, but since she discovered “that the truth appeared to lie on the Baptist’s side.”

The emotional cost to Ann was significant. Think about her reflect on this topic in a letter to she parents, then in a letter come a friend:

It was extremely trying to reflect ~ above the results of our ending up being Baptists. We knew it would certainly wound and grieve ours dear Christian friend in America—that us should shed their approbation and also esteem. We believed it probable the commis­sioners would refuse to support us; and, what was much more distressing than anything, us knew we have to be be separated from our missionary associates, and go alone to some heathen land. These things were very trying to us, and also caused our hearts to bleed for anguish. Us felt we had actually no house in this world, and no friend yet each other.

She wrote in a comparable fashion come a to ~ friend:

Can you, mine dear Nancy, quiet love me, still desire to hear native me, as soon as I call you i have become a Baptist? If i judge indigenous my very own feelings, i answer you will, and also that my different from friend in those things which carry out not influence our salvation will not diminish her affection because that me, or make you unconcerned because that my welfare. . . . Thus, my dear Nancy, we are evidenced Baptists, not due to the fact that we wish to be, but because truth compelled us to be. We have actually endeavored to counting the cost, and be prepared for the many severe trials resulting from this adjust of sentiment. We anticipate the lose of reputation, and of the affection and esteem of numerous of ours American friends. Yet the most trying situation attending this change, and that which has caused many pain, is the separation which should take place in between us and also our to ~ missionary associates. Back we space attached to every other, and also should doubtless live really happily together, yet the brethren carry out not think it ideal we need to unite in one mission. This things, mine dear Nancy, have actually caused us to weep and also pour out our mind in prayer come Him who directions we so lot wish and also need. Us feel that we are alone in the world, through no real friend but each other, nobody on who we can depend but God.”

The last Decision

After Adoniram and also Ann made the decision with each other to end up being Baptists, they sent the complying with letter to the leaders of the Baptist mission company in Serampore.

Calcutta, respectable 27, 1812


As you have actually been ignorant the the late exercises of mine mind on the topic of baptism, the interaction which i am about to make might occasion you part surprise.

It is now around four months due to the fact that I take it the subject into serious and prayerful consideration. My inquiries, commenced throughout my i from America, and after much productive research and also painful trial, which i shall not now detail, have issued in whole conviction, that the immersion the a professing believer is the just Christian baptism.

In these exercises I have actually not been alone. Mrs. Judson has been engaged in a comparable examination, and also has pertained to the exact same conclusion. Feeling, therefore, the we space in one unbaptised state, we wish come profess our belief in Christ by gift baptised in obedience to his spiritual commands.

Adoniram Judson, Jun.

Consequently, top top September 6, 1812, in the Lal Bazar Chapel in Calcutta, Dr. Ward the the London Missionary culture baptized Adoniram and Ann. Both had studied the scriptures together and separately. Both were aware of the great cost of your decision. Both known that to end up being a Baptist would mean the loss of friends, support, family, and also perhaps even their missionary endeavor. Both knew they to be obligated to share their readjust in conviction with the newly created American board of Commissioners for foreign Missions. This to be done by means of letter on September 1, 1812. Judson wrote his to ~ friend and also supporter, Dr. Worcester, and also informed the of his change in position.

Rev. And also Dear Sir, —

My adjust of sentiments top top the topic of baptism is considered by my missionary brethren together incompatible through my proceeding their fellow-labourer in the mission which they contemplate top top the Island the Madagascar; and it will, ns presume, be thought about by the board of Commissioners together equally incompatible through my continuing their missionary. The board will, undoubtedly, feel as unwilling to support a Baptist missionary as I feel to comply with their instructions, which specifically direct united state to baptise ‘credible believers through their households.’

The resolution of my link with the plank of Commissioners, and a separation from my dear missionary brethren, I considered most distressing aftermath of my late adjust of sentiments, and, indeed, the many distressing occasions which have ever befallen me. I have now the prospect before me of going alone come some far-off island, unconnected v any society at existing existing, native which I could be furnished v assistant labourers or pecuniary support. Whether the Baptist churches in America will certainly compassionate mine situation, I recognize not. I hope, therefore, that while mine friends guilty of what lock deem a exit from the truth, they will certainly at least pity me and also pray for me.

With the exact same sentiments of

affection and respect as ever,

I am, sir, your friend and servant

Adoniram Judson, Jun.

Just as they had actually anticipated and feared, the Judsons were left at that time without friends. Their American missionary brethren, supporting churches, and also home mission board were that a various doctrinal persuasion and thus can no much longer work with them. Due to political and commercial pressures, the east Indian Trading agency controlled by the English to be demanding that all Americans leaving India immediately. The only personal bright spot for the Judsons was your friendship through Luther Rice. He, too, had readjusted his position on baptism and was ready to stay with the Judsons and also work. The only hope they had of staying on the mission field was the possibility of a positive response to the complying with letter sent to Dr. Bolles, a Baptist pastor in brand-new England.

Calcutta, September 1, 1812

Rev. Sir, —I recollect that, during a short interview I had actually with friend in Salem, I suggested the development of a society among the Baptists in America because that the assistance of foreign missions, in imitation of the exertions of your English brethren. Tiny did ns then expect to be personally came to in such an attempt.

Within a couple of months I have experienced one entire readjust of sentiments ~ above the subject of baptism. My doubts worrying the correctness that my previous system of id commenced during my passage from America to this country; and after many painful trials, i m sorry none deserve to know however those who space taught to relinquish a mechanism in i beg your pardon they had actually been educated, I worked out down in the full persuasion the the immersion that a professing believer in Christ is the only Christian baptism.

Mrs. Judson is united with me in this persuasion. We have actually signified ours views and also wishes come the Baptist missionaries at Serampore, and expect to be baptised in this city following Lord’s day.

A separation from my missionary brethren, and also a resolution of my connection with the board of commissioners, seem to be important conse­quences. The missionaries in ~ Serampore space exerted to the utmost of their capability in managing and supporting their substantial and facility mission.

Under these situations I look come you. Alone, in this foreign heathen land, ns make mine appeal come those whom, through their permission, ns will speak to my Baptist brethren in the joined States.

With the advice that the brethren at Serampore, ns am contemplating a mission on one of the eastern islands. They have actually lately sent their brother Chater to Ceylon, and their brothers Robinson come Java. At present, Amblyna seems to present the most favourable opening. Fifty thousands souls are there perishing without the means of life; and also the case of the island is such the a mission there established might, through the blessing the God, be extended to the neighbouring islands in those seas.

But need to I walk thither, that is a many painful reflection the I need to go alone, and likewise uncertain of the method of support. However I will trust in God. He has actually frequently enabled me to praise his divine goodness, and also will never forsake those who placed their trust in him.

I am, dear sir,

Yours, in the mr Jesus,

Adoniram Judson, Jun

The Judsons could only wait, hope, and also pray the their quick missionary career would certainly continue. Their decision to change was significant by both a significant study of the word of God and good personal pain. It absolutely was not the prudent choice based upon the wisdom the men. It expense them every little thing they had actually at the time. The was, however, the necessary choice based upon the magnificent dictates of their conscience. As Luther the old said, “Here they stood, they might do no other.”


The an adverse Response

The results of Judson’s decision in the broadest sense are shown by the whole of the American Baptist missionary motion from 1812 to the present. In the narrower historical sense, Judson’s decision triggered both a an unfavorable and optimistic response. The an unfavorable response was voiced by the Reverend Enoch Pond, a Congregational minister in Ward, Massachusetts. He released a publication entitled, A treatise on the Mode and Subjects the Christian Baptism — Designed together a answer to the Statements and also Reasonings of the Rev. Adoniram Judson, which to be a response to the sermon that Judson had actually preached in India. This sermon was released in the joined States and subsequently received good attention. Pond starts the publication by stating his reason for writing.

But is the present revival the this conflict properly chargeable come the writer? as soon as Mr. Judson wrote and also published his Sermon, with the avowed design of transmitting it to America, he fine knew that he to be treading ~ above controversial ground; and he had actually every factor to expect, uneven he an alleged it would pressure universal conviction, the someone in his native country would effort a reply.

Pond’s reply, though, to be not just theological in context. He wondered about Judson’s motivations because that his readjust in position.

Pedobaptists would gladly indulge the hope, the these pretensions space sincere—that Mr. Judson was influenced in this matter by a feeling of duty and also the are afraid of God. Lock cannot, however, repress the opinion, after ~ a deliberate investigation of concomitant circumstances, that his adjust is to say the least, a an extremely mysterious event.

He then ongoing with directly calling Judson’s character into question.

Mr. Judson is a human being whom, for numerous years, I have actually been accustomed come respect. That is v pain I uncover myself under obligations to controvert what he has advanced. It is an especially painful, that i am to become the tool of interacting facts which seriously implicate his moral character. His particular friends might rest assured that I have actually no pleasure in detraction, and that it would afford me the highest possible happiness, can the mysteries of his conduct be completely developed, and also the charge which in the following pages lies against him be fairly removed.

Pond’s accusations space several. He started by arguing that Judson’s adjust was not based top top lines of biblical reasoning, but upon the opportunity for gaue won gain.

The reasonings he has actually employed have been to work before. And also in the food of his theological education, it would seem he must have known this. The debates he has actually now advanced and pronounce conclusive, he must have actually previously considered, and pronounced incorrect.

It is somewhat exceptional in the case of Mr. Judson, that he must be changed to precisely such a point. Having begun to waver, why did the waver just for this reason far, and no farther? Without communicating his “exercises to any type of of the Baptist denomination,” why did he at size fasten top top those very topics, which constitute the peculiarities the the Baptist faith? at a duration when his very own circumstances were substantially perplexed, and also when liable to imagine the some brand-new expedient can improve them; exactly how came he to coincide so precisely with those Missionaries among whom Providence had thrown him, who were currently prosperously established, and engaged in your benevolent work?

Second, Pond suggests that Judson was not honest and open through his co-workers and also not faithful to his residence church.

Another exceptional circumstance respecting Mr. Judson’s change, is the concealment of his see from his missionary brethren. He definitely could not have renounced Pedobaptist principles without a struggle. He can not have been honestly lugged to decide, the those ministers v whom he had actually ever associated were not consistent ministers of Christ; the those churches with which he to be connected, on which he was dependent, and to i beg your pardon he to be under solemn obligations, were not regularly comprised churches the Christ; the his reverend father and also most intimate Christian friends had actually never been i was baptized in the name of the Trinity, or rightly professed the Christian faith; yea, that he himself had constantly cultivated that, i beg your pardon (pursued come what the deems its direct consequences) is “the many pernicious practice which ever infested and also laid garbage the vineyard of the Lord” — he might not possibly have actually been lugged to such a decision, there is no a deep inward conflict. Just how strange, then, the the dispute never came to be visible! that it to be neither it was observed by, no one revealed to, his missionary companions! below is a tape of brothers, going forth through the gospel come a soil of idols, not only under peculiar obligations, but, it must seem, peculiarly disposed, to maintain an intercourse the most frank and also open; and yet among them passes with a scene of the utmost psychological trouble; dissents indigenous the church bespeak of his ancestors, supporters, and associates; and is at size on the suggest of a complete separation native them, and has never made come them the slightest intimations that what had passed, and also was passing in his mind!!

Third, Pond accused Judson that harboring resentment about a previous reprimand he obtained from the American board of Commissioners for international Missions about Judson’s communication with the London Missionary Society. The accusation was the Adoniram had actually overstepped his bounds as he negotiated for a partnership between the two parties. Initially, Judson had denied that a formal admonition was given, (though later in life he notes the mistakes were produced which he was sorry). Pond seized ~ above this discrepancy and also accused Judson the both bitterness and dishonesty.

It will certainly be recollected by many, that soon after the intelligence of Mr. Judson’s adjust had got to America, it to be hinted in certain circles, the this had actually been induced through resentment. He had received, formerly to his leave the country, a solemn reprimand or admonition indigenous the board of Commissioners for international Missions; and the affront occasioned by it had induced him to desert them. Rumours choose these in ~ length found their method into the East, and also reached the ear of Mr. Judson.

To substantiate his accusation, Pond quoted Dr. Samuel Worcester, the corresponding secretary of the American Board. Worcester was responding to the question worrying whether Judson actually got a official reprimand from the Board.

In the beginning of the year 1811, Mr. Judson was sent out by the Prudential Committee come England, for purposes distinctly specified in his instructions. In the mission, what he was instructed not to do, the did; and what he to be instructed come do, that neglected. Top top his return, in July of the same year, he maintained himself aloof from the Prudential committee, make no continuous report the his doings, and also assumed the management of problem in his own way.

Great dissatisfaction was expressed by every member present; and it ended up being a really serious question whether Mr. Judson need to not it is in dismissed. After deliberation, however, it was resolved, that he need to be in a formal and also solemn way admonished. THE ADMONITION WAS as necessary ADMINISTERED IN presence OF THE BOARD.

In the February following, his deportment was such, that it again came to be a serious and also most trying inquiry with the Prudential committee, even if it is he have to be permitted to go. And also it was no without good heaviness the heart, plenty of fears, and certain but tender cautions, no to that only, yet to the other Missionaries respecting him, that he was finally sent out.

The ultimate issue is v Him, to whose sovereign wisdom, and power, and goodness that belongs, to overrule the wayward dispositions and actions of men for the development of his very own glory and kingdom.

Pond then dubbed for Judson come repent the his lying, to admit his wrongdoing, and also to humble himself.

To refuse the the smallest particular, would be come contradict a human body of men, which returns to none in America in point of respectability and also worth. To quibble and equivocate ~ above the definition of specific words, would uncover the the contrary of an honest, humble spirit; and, instead of exonerating him, would certainly in the estimate of the candid check his guilt. To pretend forgetfulness the the reality which he has denied would be perfectly unaccountable, and also excite the hesitation of an effort to impose upon the publik . In short, we see however one course which Mr. J. Can dutifully pursue. He have to retrace his steps. The credit transaction of congregationalism walk not call for that he need to return come his former sentiments; yet the credit of religious beliefs does imperiously require, that he humble himself, and also be ready to confess the truth.

Pond continues to question Judson’s personality by arguing that “Mr. J. Possesses normally a proud, unstable, aspiring temper; and none require be informed, that mortified pride and also cramped ambitious are an effective stimulants of revenge.”

Fourth, Pond accused Judson of plagiarism concerning his sermon top top baptism. Judson had referenced the work-related of a Mr. Booth throughout his treatise.

In short, what component of the job-related is to be accredited to Mr. Judson, and also what come Mr. Booth? There ought to be no structure for questions prefer these. The really face that the Discourse should completely preclude them. Over there evidently is in this Sermon a great (not come say needless) parade the learning. Us hope the was no Mr. Judson’s style to it is in accredited v all this learning himself; however we are sure a good proportion the his readers space in hazard of mistaking the truth. If that is a usually man, he will certainly wish because of this it should be stated, that almost all his quotations and references, unless it be those the a very contemporary date, are transcribed, verbatim et literatim, indigenous Mr. Booth and also others; and also that a great proportion the the learning shown in the job-related is not originally his own.

We had the curiosity to spend an hour or two in comparing Mr. Judson’s Sermon v “Pedobaptism Examined.” We directly discovered in between sixty and also seventy quotations v their references, and practically forty references where there to be no quotations, which to be manifestly transcribed indigenous this learned work! these quotations and also references must have cost Mr. Booth more labour than to create a folio. Every the credit transaction he has for them, is crowded right into less than 3 indefinitely and equivocally built lines!!!

Finally, Pond proclaimed that Judson was missing the entire allude concerning the baptism controversy.

The concern at problem in this component of the subject is no whether immersion is a valid setting of baptism: this we might admit. No one is it whether this setting is preferable to every others; for we are willing the those who prefer immersion, also in our own churches, must be indulged. Nor is it even if it is immersion was frequently practised in the beforehand ages that Christianity; this we have actually no need or disposition come deny. We execute not say the neither of this points is questionable; yet neither of castle is the precise question in dispute. The allude at worry is in couple of words this — Is immersion essential? Mr. Judson contends, the the idea that immersion enters into the an extremely “nature of baptism; that the state baptism and immersion space equivalent and interchangeable.” the evidently supposes immersion essential to the ordinance. This, then, is the suggest to which his reasonings ought to tend. Let him prove, what we deny, that immersion is crucial to baptism, and the conflict is in ~ an end.

Pond’s assault on Judson was to be supposed on all fronts. His publication was spread throughout Congregational and also Baptist churches. No doubt it affected Judson’s friends and also family members alike. Since of this, the severity that the price for the Judsons was incredibly high. As they anticipated, it price them much more than gaue won support; it likewise called right into question their personal integrity. No price can be better for a minister that the gospel.

Positive Results

As stated earlier, the positive results of Judson’s decision have been confirmed throughout the background of an ext than 175 years of American Baptist foreign missions outreach. Within the historical context, there were three hopeful results. First, Luther Rice, early to decreasing health, returned to America and became a spokesman for Baptist missions. His labor and love because that the mission ar stirred the hearts of American Baptists transparent the growing nation of America. Second, Judson’s letter come Dr. Bolles met with a positive response. The American Baptist churches, v no initiatory activity of their own, currently had two missionaries ~ above the field. They received this together the hand that God and began a Baptist association for international Missions. The letter listed below communicates this decision to Judson.

DEAR BROTHER—by the come of the Tartar, in January last, we received the knowledge of your adjust of see on the topic of Christian baptism, and also intimations of her readiness to embark in a mission under our patronage, need to a culture be formed among the Baptists in America for the purpose.

Your letter excited strange emotions. We thought about it as the voice of God calling us to the development of a missionary society. The we could not, however, it is in charged through acting prematurely, or be considered as interfering with the plank of commissioners, us ascertained even if it is they to plan to proceed you in your service before we formally determined to connect you in ours.

Satisfied on inquiry what was our course of duty, we formed ourselves right into a society for propagating the gospel in India and also other international parts. In ~ a conference of the trustees, we unanimously agreed to employ you together our missionary, and also to stand all set to assistance you v all the pecuniary aid we have the right to command.

By the arrival of another vessel, we have actually heard the the Rev. Mr. Rice entertains the very same sentiments as yourself top top the topic of baptism. This event gives us joy, because it must add much to your comfort in a international land to have a fellow-labourer in the gospel. The board have not met due to the fact that Mr. Rice’s letter to be received, but I am confident the he will be take away under your care. We have actually not had time to mature our think so regarding say with decision whether it would certainly be finest for you to be connected with, or elevation of, ours brethren in ~ Serampore.

At existing it shows up to united state that a connexion through them would most subserve the interests of the Redeemer’s kingdom in India, and also be most fertile of happiness to yourselves. All the benefits which deserve to be derived from union with males of integrity, disinterested benevolence, and a expertise of the country, growing out of a twenty years’ suffer would accrue to you indigenous a relation with them. These considerations induced us in March critical to write to Mr. Fuller, that Kettering, top top the subject, expressing our wishes that you could be considered as belonging to the mission family at Serampore. Should it appear, from future events, more desirable that you have to act alone, or together American missionaries, independently from the English brethren, then, no doubt, us shall it is in pleased to have it so; but our existing sentiments are, the you had far better act with and by your advice.

In behalf of the Society,

Yours affectionately,

Daniel Sharp

Finally, it need to be noted that Judson’s partnership with the Congregationalist board was no permanently severed. In a tender exchange of letter dated twenty-seven year after the separation, Judson wrote to Dr. Anderson, the manager of the American board of Commissioners for foreign Missions. His occasion for writing was come ask because that a subscription of their newsletter, The Herald, but within the letter that writes:

I am mindful that that is not regular to trouble you with this business; but, to tell the truth, I have rather caught at the as providing me an chance to drop girlfriend a line, and also perhaps get one in return. Though I have actually been (as some may think) a wayward son of the American board of Commissioners for foreign Missions, ns have constantly retained the warmest filial affection for that body, under who auspices I very first came out.

I was also afraid that, attempting to change the setting of conveyance, i should, by part accident, shed my Herald altogether, uneven I created you, and begged you come secure me from such a misfortune.

There are not many, perhaps, currently living, who deserve to say, as I can, the they have actually read every variety of the Herald, from the moment it very first commenced its existence, in the kind of the Panoplist and also Massachusetts Missionary Magazine, to the current time; and I expect to reap the privilege as long as ns live. The Herald, in my view, contains much more interesting missionary information, and a advancement of sounder missionary principles, than any kind of other publishing in the world.

I remain, reverend and also dear sir,

Yours, many sincerely,

A. Judson

Dr. Anderson’s tender answer reads together follows:

REV. ADONIRAM JUDSON, Maulmain, India.

REV. And DEAR SIR,—A few days due to the fact that I had the good pleasure the receiving your favour the January 21. If anything to be wanted, in addition to her long, devoted, and also successful missionary life, to perfect the impression do by her letter to Mr. Evarts, date June 13, 1880 (and which I responded to February 25, 1831), it was such a letter as lies now prior to me. But I should not have said, no one am i aware, that anything was essential to give you a stronger hold upon our hearts than any type of other among the brethren that your society can perhaps have. Us rejoice in the good, the very great good, which has grown the end of your change of relation. We check out the great hand of ours God in this. We would certainly not, therefore, have actually it otherwise. The old asperities of feeling have perished in the grave, or have actually been softened down by time and also the elegant of God. We love come think the you as intimately regarded us—having — a typical missionary parentage. Hence we send friend the Herald, and on this account we mean to send it to you as lengthy as you proceed a missionary of our Lord and Master.

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Adoniram Judson is the dad of American foreign Missions. The earned this title not merely by year of service, but by the top quality of his life and also service. A guy of God is forged by his solution to turning points. The baptism conflict of 1812 was a memorable turning point in the life of Judson. His fidelity to the word of God expense him dearly. Yet, the price the paid has reaped rewards because that 200 years.