Advice to Missionary Candidates

To the Foreign Missionary Association of the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution, N. Y.

DEAR BRETHREN: Yours of November last, from the pen of your Corresponding Secretary, Mr. William Dean, is before me. It is one of the few letters that I feel called upon to answer, for you ask my advice on several important points. There is, also, in the sentiments you express, something so congenial to my own, that I feel my heart knit to the members of your association, and instead of commonplace reply, am desirous of setting down a few items which may be profitable to you in your future course. Brief items they must be, for want of time forbids my expatiating.

In commencing my remarks, I take you as you are. You are contemplating a missionary life.

First, then, let it be a missionary life; that is, come out for life, and not for a limited term. Do not fancy that you have a true missionary spirit, while you are intending all along to leave the heathen soon after acquiring their language. Leave them! for what? To spend the rest of your days in enjoying the ease and plenty of your native land?

Secondly. In choosing a companion for life, have particular regard to a good constitution, and not wantonly, or without good cause, bring a burden on yourselves and the mission.

Thirdly. Be not ravenous to do good on board ship. Missionaries have frequently done more hurt than good, by injudicious zeal, during their passage out.

Fourthly. Take care that the attention you receive at home, the unfavorable circumstances in which you will be placed on board ship, and the unmissionary examples you may possibly meet with at some missionary stations, do not transform you from living missionaries to mere skeletons before you reach the place of your destination. It may be profitable to bear in mind, that a large proportion of those who come out on a mission to the East die within five years after leaving their native land. Walk softly, therefore; death is narrowly watching your steps.

Fifthly. Beware of the reaction which will take place soon after reaching your field of labor. There you will perhaps find native Christians, of whose merits or demerits you can not judge correctly without some familiar acquaintance with their language. Some appearances will combine to disappoint and disgust you. You will meet with disappointments and discouragements, of which it is impossible to form a correct idea from written accounts, and which will lead you, at first, almost to regret that you have embarked in the cause. You will see men and women whom you have been accustomed to view through a telescope some thousands of miles long. Such an instrument is apt to magnify. Beware, therefore, of the reaction you will experience from a combination of all these causes, lest you become disheartened at commencing your work, or take up a prejudice against some persons and places, which will embitter all your future lives.

Sixthly. Beware of the greater reaction which will take place after you have acquired the language, and become fatigued and worn out with preaching the gospel to a disobedient and gainsaying people. You will sometimes long for a quiet retreat, where you can find a respite from the tug of toiling at native work -- the incessant, intolerable friction of the missionary grindstone. And Satan will sympathize with you in this matter; and he will present some chapel of ease, in which to officiate in your native tongue, some government situation, some professorship or editorship, some literary or scientific pursuit, some supernumerary translation, or, at least, some system of schools; anything, in a word, that will help you, without much surrender of character, to slip out of real missionary work. Such a temptation will form the crisis of your disease. If your spiritual constitution can sustain it, you recover; if not, you die.

Seventhly. Beware of pride; not the pride of proud men, but the pride of humble men -- that secret pride which is apt to grow out of the consciousness that we are esteemed by the great and good. This pride sometimes eats out the vitals of religion before its existence is suspected. In order to check its operations, it may be well to remember how we appear in the sight of God, and how we should appear in the sight of our fellow-men, if all were known. Endeavor to let all be known. Confess your faults freely, and as publicly as circumstances will require or admit. When you have done something of which you are ashamed, and by which, perhaps, some person has been injured (and what man is exempt?), be glad not only to make reparation, but improve the opportunity for subduing your pride.

Eighthly. Never lay up money for yourselves or your families. Trust in God from day to day, and verily you shall be fed.

Ninthly. Beware of that indolence which leads to a neglect of bodily exercise. The poor health and premature death of most Europeans in the East must be eminently ascribed to the most wanton neglect of bodily exercise.

Tenthly. Beware of genteel living. Maintain as little intercourse as possible with fashionable European society. The mode of living adopted by many missionaries in the East is quite inconsistent with that familiar intercourse with the natives which is essential to a missionary.

There are many points of self-denial that I should like to touch upon; but a consciousness of my own deficiency constrains me to be silent. I have also left untouched several topics of vital importance, it having been my aim to select such only as appear to me to have been not much noticed or enforced. I hope you will excuse the monitorial style that I have accidentally adopted. I assure you, I mean no harm.

In regard to your inquiries concerning studies, qualifications, etc., nothing occurs that I think would be particularly useful, except the simple remark, that I fear too much stress begins to be laid on what is termed a thorough classical education.

Praying that you may be guided in all your deliberations, and that I may yet have the pleasure of welcoming some of you to these heathen shores, I remain

Your affectionate brother,
A. JUDSON
Maulmain, June 25, 1832

Autobiographical Record
of Dates and Events
by Adoniram Judson

Adoniram Judson, senior, was born at Woodbury, Connecticut, June, 1752, the youngest son of Elnathan and Mary Judson, and was married Nov. 23, 1786, to Abigail Brown, who was born at Tiverton, Rhode Island, Dec. 15, 1759, the eldest daughter of Abraham and Abigail Brown.

1788  Aug. 9, Adoniram Judson, junior, was born at Malden, Massachusetts
1791  March 21, Abigail Brown Judson was born at Malden, Mass.
1793  Jan. 10, the family removed to Wenham, Mass.
1794  May 28, Elnathan Judson was born at Wenham.
1796  Feb. 18, Mary Ellice Judson was born at Wenham.
1796  Sept. 12, Mary Ellice Judson died, aged 6 months and 24 days.
1800  May 22, the family removed to Braintree, Mass.
1802  May 11, removed to Plymouth, Mass.
1804  Aug. 17, Adoniram Judson, junior, entered Providence College, subsequently Brown University, one year in advance.
1807  Feb. 23, closed a school of thirty pupils, taught six weeks in Plymouth.
1807  April 30, received the highest appointment in the ensuing commencement exercises of the class -- an appointment to pronounce the last English oration, and the valedictory addresses.
1807  Sept. 2, received the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
1807  Sept. 17, opened a private academy in Plymouth.
1808  Feb. 25, completed "The Elements of English Grammar."
1808  July 28, completed "The Young Lady's Arithmetic."
1808  Aug. 9, closed the "Plymouth Independent Academy."
1808  Aug. 15, set out on a tour through the Northern States.
1808  Sept. 22, returned to Plymouth.
1808  Sept. 29, became an assistant teacher in a private academy in Boston.
1808  Oct. 12, entered the Theological Institution at Andover, Mass. one year in advance.
1808  Nov., began to entertain hope of having received the regenerating influences of the Holy Spirit.
1808  Dec. 2, made a solemn dedication of himself to God.
1809  May 28, made a public profession of religion, and joined the Third Congregational Church in Plymouth.
1809  June, received an appointment to a tutorship in Brown University, but declined it.
1809  Sept., read Buchanan's "Star in the East," and began to consider the subject of missions.
1810  Feb., resolved on becoming a missionary to the heathen.
1810  May 17, received a license to preach from the Orange Association of Ministers in Vermont.
1810  June 28, united with Messrs. Nott, Newell, and Mills, in submitting to the General Association of Ministers, convened at Bradford, Mass., a statement of views and desires on the subject of missions, which originated the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
1810  July 28, commenced an acquaintance with Ann Hasseltine.
1810  Sept. 5, received the degree of Master of Arts from Brown University.
1810  Sept. 24, completed my course of study at the Theological Institution.
1811  Jan. 11, embarked at Boston on the ship Packet, bound to Liverpool, to visit the London Missionary Society.
1811  Feb. 2, the ship was taken by the French privateer, L'Invincible Napoleon, and myself, passengers and crew transferred to the privateer.
1811  Feb. 15, put in at Le Passage, in Spain.
1811  Feb. 23, was conveyed to Bayonne, in France, where, after a short imprisonment, I was permitted to remain at large.
1811  April 16, arrived in Paris.
1811  May 3, crossed the English Channel from Morlaix to Dartmouth.
1811  May 6, arrived in London.
1811  May, June, visited the Missionary Seminary at Gosport.
1811  June 18, embarked at Gravesend, on the ship Augustus, bound to New York.
1811  Aug. 7, arrived in New York.
1811  Sept. 19, was appointed by the American Board of Commissioners a missionary to the East, in company with Messrs. Nott, Newell, and Hall.
1812  Feb. 3, took a final leave of my parents in Plymouth.
1812  Feb. 5, was married to Ann Hasseltine, born at Bradford, Mass., Dec. 22, 1789, the youngest daughter of John and Rebecca Hasseltine.
1812  Feb. 6, received ordination at Salem, in company with Messrs. Nott, Newell, Hall, and Rice, from the Rev. Drs. Spring, Worcester, Woods, Morse, and Griffin.
1812  Feb. 7, took a final leave of my sister and brother in Boston.
1812  Feb. 19, embarked at Salem, with Mrs. Judson and Mr. and Mrs. Newell, on the brig Caravan, Capt. Heard, bound to Calcutta.
1812  June 17, arrived in Calcutta.
1812  Aug. 8, Messrs. Nott, Hall, and Rice, with Mrs. Nott, arrived in the ship Harmony, from Philadelphia.
1812  Sept. 1, announced to the Secretary of the A. B. C. F. M. my change of sentiment on the subject of baptism.
1812  Sept. 6, was baptized in Calcutta, with Mrs. Judson, by the Rev. Mr. Ward.
1812  Nov. 1, Mr. Rice, on a similar change of sentiment, received baptism.
1812  Nov. 30, fled from the arrest of the East India Company's government, and embarked privately with Mrs. Judson and Mr. Rice, on the ship Belle Creole, bound to Port Louis, Isle of France.
1813  Jan. 17, arrived in Port Louis.
1813  March 15, Mr. Rice took passage for America.
1813  April 1, completed the sermon on "Christian Baptism."
1813  May 7, embarked at Port Louis with Mrs. Judson on the ship Countess of Harcourt, bound to Madras.
1813  June 4, arrived in Madras.
1813  June 22, embarked with Mrs. Judson on the ship Georgiana, bound to Rangoon, in Burmah.
1813  July 13, arrived in Rangoon, and joined the mission conducted by Felix Carey.
1814  Aug. 20, Mr. Carey and family removed to Ava, and soon after seceded from the mission.
1815  Jan. 25, Mrs. Judson embarked for Madras, to obtain medical advice.
1815  April 13, returned with Emily Vansomeren, to be brought up in the family.
1815  Sept. 5, received information of the establishment of the American Baptist Board of Foreign Missions in March, 1814, and their appointment of me their missionary.
1815  Sept. 11, Roger Williams Judson was born in Rangoon.
1816  May 4, Roger Williams Judson died, aged 7 months and 23 days.
1816  July 13, completed "Grammatical Notices of the Burman Language."
1816  July 20, completed Tract No. 1 in Burman, being a view of the Christian Religion, in three parts, Historical, Didactic, Preceptive.
1816  Oct. 15, Mr. Hough and family arrived and joined the mission.
1817  May 20, completed a Burman translation of the Gospel of Matthew.
1817  May 22, began to compile a Burman dictionary.
1817  Aug., wrote "A Letter to the 3d Church in Plymouth, Mass.," on the subject of baptism.
1817  Dec. 24, embarked at Rangoon, on the ship Two Brothers, bound to Chittagong.
1818  Jan. 26, the ship's destination was changed from Chittagong to Madras.
1818  March 18, landed at Masulipatam.
1818  April 8, arrived in Madras by land -- distance 300 miles.
1818  July 20, left Madras.
1818  Aug. 4, arrived in Rangoon.
1818  Sept. 19, Messrs. Colman and Wheelock and wives arrived and joined the mission.
1818  Nov. 1, Mr. Hough and family departed from Bengal.
1819  April 4, commenced public worship in the Burman language.
1819  April 25, commenced occupying a public zayat.
1819  May, wrote "A Letter, Relative to the Formal and Solemn Reprimand."
1819  June 27, baptized Moung Nau, the first Burman convert.
1819  July 29, completed a revision and enlargement of Tract No. 1, and a revision of Tract No. 2, being a Catechism in Burman by Mrs. Judson.
1819  August 7, Mr. and Mrs. Wheelock departed for Bengal.
1819  Nov. 30, completed a revision of the sermon on Christian Baptism, for fourth edition.
1819  Dec. 21, left Rangoon on a visit to Ava, in company with Mr. Colman.
1820  January 27, appeared before the king, and was refused liberty to propagate religion in his dominions.
1820  Feb. 18, returned to Rangoon.
1820  March 27, Mr. and Mrs. Colman embarked for Arracan.
1820  July 18, baptized the tenth Burman convert.
1820  July 19, embarked with Mrs. Judson for Calcutta.
1820  Aug. 18, arrived in Calcutta.
1820  Nov. 23, embarked with Mrs. Judson for Rangoon.
1821  Jan. 5, arrived in Rangoon.
1821  Aug. 21, Mrs. Judson and Emily embarked for Bengal, and ultimately America.
1821  Dec. 13, Dr. Price and family arrived and joined the mission.
1822  Jan. 20, Mr. Hough and family returned.
1822  May 2, Mrs. Price died.
1822  Aug. 21, baptized the eighteenth Burman convert.
1822  Aug. 28, left Rangoon on a visit to Ava, in company with Dr. Price.
1822  Sept. 27, arrived in Ava.
1823  Feb. 2, returned to Rangoon.
1823  July 12, completed the translation of the New Testament in Burmese, together with an epitome of the Old.
1823  Dec. 5, Mrs. Judson returned to Rangoon.
1823  Dec. 13, left Rangoon for Ava, in company with Mrs. Judson.
1824  Jan. 23, arrived in Ava.
1824  June 8, was fettered and imprisoned by the king's order, in consequence of war with Bengal.
1825  Jan. 26, Maria Elizabeth Butterworth Judson was born in Ava.
1825  May 2, was removed from the king's prison in Ava to the prison in Oung-pen-la, a few miles distant.
1825  Nov. 5, was taken out of irons and reconducted to Ava.
1825  Nov. 7, was sent under guard to Maloon, the headquarters of the Burmese army, to act as interpreter.
1825  Dec. 17, was sent away from Maloon, in consequence of the advance of the British army from Prome.
1825  Dec. 29, reached Ava and was recommitted to prison.
1825  Dec. 30, was released from prison and put under charge of the North Commandant of the palace.
1826  Feb. 21, left Ava, with Mrs. Judson and Maria, for the British camp at Yantabo.
1826  Feb. 24, the treaty of peace was signed by the British and Burman Commissioners.
1826  March 6, left Yantabo for Rangoon on the Irrawaddy gun-boat.
1826  March 21, arrived in Rangoon.
1826  March 31, left Rangoon, on a visit to Martaban, with the Civil Commissioner, Mr. Crawford.
1826  April 6, landed at Hyaikamee, where the Commissioner selected the site of a new town to be called Amherst.
1826  April 10, arrived in Rangoon from Amherst.
1826  June 29, embarked with Mrs. Judson and family on the Phoenix, bound to Amherst.
1826  July 2, arrived in Amherst.
1826  July 5, left Mrs. Judson and family at Amherst, and re-embarked on the Phoenix for Rangoon.
1826  July 9, arrived in Rangoon.
1826  Sept. 1, left Rangoon for Ava with the Envoy, Mr. Crawford.
1826  Sept. 30, arrived in Ava.
1826  Oct. 28, the Embassy removed to Chagaing.
1826  Nov. 24, heard the news of Mrs. Judson's death at Amherst, Oct. 24, 1826, in the 37th year of her age.
1826  Dec. 12, left Chagaing on return to Rangoon and Amherst.
1827  Jan. 24, arrived in Amherst, and joined the family of Mr. and Mrs. Wade, who arrived Nov. 23, 1826.
1827  April 17, Mr. and Mrs. Boardman arrived in Amherst.
1827  April, 24, Maria died at Amherst, aged 2 years and 3 months.
1827  May 28, Mr. and Mrs. Boardman removed to Maulmain.
1827  July 11, heard of the death of my father, Rev. Adoniram Judson, senior, at Scituate, Mass., Nov. 25, 1826, in the 75th year of his age.
1827  August 10, and 11, left Amherst and joined the Boardmans at Maulmain.
1827  Nov. 14, Mr. and Mrs. Wade also and the native Christians removed to Maulmain.
1827  Dec. 28, finished translating thirty psalms, begun July 16.
1828  Jan. 11, commenced occupying a public zayat in Maulmain.
1828  March 29, Mr. and Mrs. Boardman removed to Tavoy.
1828  May 9, renounced the title of D.D., conferred on me by the corporation of Brown University, Sept., 1823.
1828  May 29, gave away my private property to the Board.
1828  Oct. 24, removed to the Hermitage.
1829  Feb., wrote "The Threefold Cord" in English.
1829  March, wrote "The Golden Balance," Tract No. 3, in Burmese.
1829  Nov. 14, finished revising the New Testament, the epitome of the Old, and the Septenary, or Seven Manuals, in Burmese.
1829  Dec. 15, heard of the death of my brother, Dr. Elnathan Judson, at Washington, D. C., May 8, 1829, aged 35 years.
1830  Jan. 14, Mr. and Mrs. Bennett arrived in Maulmain.
1830  Feb. 21, Mr. and Mrs. Wade removed to Rangoon.
1830  April 26, left Maulmain.
1830  May 2, arrived in Rangoon.
1830  June 11, arrived in Prome.
1830  Sept. 25, returned to Rangoon.
1831  July 19, finished the translation of Genesis, twenty chapters of Exodus, Psalms, Solomon's Song, Isaiah and Daniel.
1831  July 31, arrived in Maulmain from Rangoon.
1831  Oct., wrote the Letter on Female Dress.
1832  May 21, retired to the rooms adjoining the native chapel, with a view to prosecuting [pursuing until finished] the translation of the Old Testament.
1832  Nov. 27, Mr. and Mrs. Wade sailed for America.
1832  Dec. 15, sent to press the last sheet of the New Testament in Burmese.
1833  Jan. 1, Mr. and Mrs. Hancock and others arrived from America.
1833  Sept. 8, baptized the one hundredth Karen convert north of Maulmain, the first fourteen of whom were baptized by Mr. Wade.
1834  Jan. 31, finished the translation of the Old Testament.
1834  April 1, left Maulmain for Tavoy.
1834  April 10, was married to Mrs. Sarah H. Boardman, who was born at Alstead, New Hampshire, Nov. 4, 1803, the eldest daughter of Ralph and Abiah O. Hall; married to George D. Boardman, July 4, 1825, left a widow Feb. 11, 1831, with one surviving child, George D. Boardman, born Aug. 18, 1828.
1834  April 16, arrived in Maulmain from Tavoy.
1834  Dec. 7, the Cashmere arrived from America, with Mr. and Mrs. Wade, Mr. and Mrs. Osgood, and several other new missionaries.
1834  Dec. 13, George D. Boardman embarked on the Cashmere for America.
1835  Jan. 4, the Wades removed from Maulmain to Tavoy.
1835  Sept. 26, finished the revision of the Old Testament.
1835  Oct. 31, Abby Ann Judson was born in Maulmain.
1835  Nov. 29, baptized the one hundredth member of the Burman Church in Maulmain.
1835  Dec. 29, sent to press the last sheet of the Old Testament.
1836  Feb. 21, the Louvre arrived from America with Mr. Malcom, agent of the Board, and several new missionaries.
1836  May 23, moved into the new chapel.
1836  Nov., visited the Tavoy station in company with Mrs. Judson and Mrs. Vinton.
1837  Jan. 31, finished a new revision of the New Testament.
1837  March 22, sent to press the last sheet of the revised New Testament.
1837  April 7, Adoniram Brown Judson was born in Maulmain.
1837  April 30, Mr. and Mrs. Howard arrived from Rangoon, and joined the Maulmain station.
1837  Nov. 18, finished "A Digest of Scripture," in Burmese.
1837  Nov. 27, the Hancocks removed from Maulmain to Mergui.
1838  Feb. 19, Mr. and Mrs. Stevens arrived from America, and joined the Maulmain station.
1838  July 15, Elnathan Judson was born in Maulmain.
1839  Feb. 19, embarked for Calcutta.
1839  March 9, arrived in Calcutta.
1839  March 30, embarked for Maulmain.
1839  April 13, arrived in Maulmain.
1839  Oct. 27, began to preach in the native chapel, after an interval of ten months.
1839  Dec. 31, Henry Judson was born in Maulmain.
1840  Oct. 24, finished the revision of the quarto edition of the Burmese Bible.
1841  March 8, Luther Judson was still-born.
1841  June 26, embarked with Mrs. Judson and family for Bengal, on account of their health.
1841  July 11, arrived in Bengal.
1841  July 30, Henry Judson died at Serampore, aged 1 year, [7] months.
1841  Aug. 16, embarked with my family on the Ramsay, Capt. Hamlin, bound to the Isle of France.
1841  Oct. 1, arrived at Port Louis.
1841  Nov. 1, re-embarked on the Ramsay for Maulmain.
1841  Dec. 10, arrived in Maulmain.
1842  Feb. 23, moved into the new house.
1842  July 8, Henry Hall Judson was born in Maulmain.
1842  Aug. 29, heard of the death of my mother at Plymouth, Mass., Jan. 31, 1842, in the eighty-third year of her age.
1843  Dec. 18, Charles Judson was born in Maulmain.
1844  Dec. 27, Edward Judson was born in Maulmain.
1845  Feb. 15, Mrs. Judson left Maulmain on a voyage down the coast, for the benefit of her health.
1845  April 3, Mrs. Judson returned.
1845  April 26, embarked with Mrs. Judson and the three elder children on the Paragon, bound to London.
1845  May 3, sailed from Amherst.
1845  July 5, arrived from Port Louis in the Isle of France.
1845  July 23, embarked on the Sophia Walker, Capt. Codman, bound to the United States.
1845  July 25, sailed from Port Louis.
1845  Aug. 26, arrived at St. Helena.
1845  Sept. 1, Mrs. Judson died at 3 A.M., was buried at 6 P.M., and we sailed from St. Helena in the evening.
1845  Oct. 15, arrived in Boston.
1845  Nov. 13, parted with my children, leaving Adoniram and Elnathan at Worcester, and sending Abby Ann to Plymouth.
1845  Nov. 28, heard of the death of little Charlie at Maulmain, August 5, 1845, aged 1 year and 7 ½ months.
1846  Jan. 5, commenced an acquaintance with Emily Chubbuck.
1846  April 6, removed Abby Ann from Plymouth to Bradford.
1846  June 2, was married at Hamilton, New York, to Emily Chubbuck, born at Eaton, New York, Aug. 22, 1817, the daughter of Charles and Lavinia Chubbuck.
1846  July 4, took leave of Adoniram and Elnathan at Worcester.
1846  July 9, took leave of Abby Ann at Bradford.
1846  July 11, took leave of George D. Boardman, the Lincoln families, the Colbys, the Gillettes, Anne Maria Anable, and numberless other friends, and embarked with Mrs. Judson, Miss Lillybridge, the Beechers, and the Harrises, on the ship Faneuil Hall, Capt. Hallet, bound to Maulmain.
1846  Nov. 30, arrived in Maulmain.
1847  Feb. 15, embarked with my family for Rangoon.
1847  June 1, Mrs. Judson finished the memoir of the late Mrs. Judson [Sarah Boardman]
1847  Aug. 31, re-embarked for Maulmain.
1847  Sept. 5, arrived in Maulmain
1847  Dec. 24, Emily Frances Judson was born in Maulmain.
1848  Feb. 25, removed into the old house.
1849  Jan. 24, finished the English and Burmese dictionary.