To The Golden Shore

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Anderson, Courtney. To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson. Boston: Little, Brown, 1956.

Last Sunday we opened the sermon off with a quote from this book:

“I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early
next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her
departure and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of missionary
life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the danger of the ocean, to
the fatal influence of the Southern climate of India, to every kind of want and
distress, to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can
you consent to all of this for the sake of Him who left His heavenly home and
died for her and for you, for the sake of perishing immortal souls, for the sake
of the glory of God? Can you consent to all this in hope of soon meeting your
daughter in the world of glory with the crown of righteousness, brightened
with the acclamations of praise which shall resound to her Savior from
heathens saved through her means from eternal woe and despair?” (Page 83)

What would you say? Ann’s dad said, “Yes.” The couple was married and a year later, On February 12, 1812, Ann and Adoniram Judson sailed from Salem aboard the brig Caravan as two of the first Baptist missionaries to go out from North America. Watching the shoreline disappear from view, they could not have foreseen the impact of their journey on the future of the Christian world mission or on the thousands of men and women who would follow in their footsteps. After a short stay in India, they carried the Good News of Jesus Christ to the golden shore of Burma.

Drawing on letters and church records, Courtney Anderson paints a poignant portrait of Judson’s early life in dealing with the conflict between his desire for material success and the inner call to serve God. For Adoniram Judson the golden shore brought bitter hardships, imprisonment, and family tragedy. Yet, he never wavered in his commitment to win people to faith in Christ and to translate the Bible into the Burmese language.

And Ann’s dad would never see his daughter again. She would
lose her life sharing the gospel. Yet, through her work and Adoniram’s work, today there are nearly 4,000 Baptist churches with about half million followers of Christ in the heart of Buddhist Burma, Myanmar.

I wanted to make you all aware of the book because in my opinion this book and George Mellers biography are the two best biographies that a Christian can read to strengthen their faith.  However, like I said in the sermon Christian bookstores can be a great resource.  I am grateful for the work of Lifeway.  However, they are a business and their job is to make money and a 500 page biography of a guy that most had probably never heard of is just not flying off the shelves.

However, this is part of our history as Baptist.  We have made some mistakes in our history but the one thing that we have gotten right is our zeal for missions.  And we can learn a lot from the life of missionaries like Judson on what it exactly looks like to live out Matthew 10 in our everyday lives.

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