Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Your Daughters Hand in Marriage

On 28th June 1810 Adoniram Judson presented himself for missionary service in the East. He would go on to be a missionary to the unreached people of Burma (known as Myanmar today). The very same day he met Ann Hasseltine and fell in love. One month later he wrote to her father, asking for his daughters hand in marriage, this is what he said:
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 dangers 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 this, for the sake of him who left is heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and 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 righteous, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?
Amazingly, her father consented and said that Ann could make up her own mind. Ann accepted his proposal, being extremely willing to give up all home comforts and go with Adoniram, as his wife, to spend her days in costly sacrifice for the sake of seeing Burmese knees bow before the Lord Jesus.

Both Adoniram and Ann had their priorities shaped by the gospel and recognised that the advance of the gospel would not come without costly sacrifice for Christ's people. Therefore they were willing to sacrifice all comforts to sail to the then extremely dangerous land of Burma to proclaim Christ, that Christ might be glorified in men and women coming to have life in Him. Would that our priorities were so shaped by the gospel that we are willing to sacrifice all for the sake of Christ being magnified as more and more bow before Him in worship. If the glory of Christ is our supreme concern, then everything else must come subordinate to this and serve this end. The more we have Christ being magnified as the priority that drives everything else, then the more contentment we shall have in any and every situation, and the less we'll be concerned about our interests - our comfort, our reputation, our 'rights' etc. The more we recognise the surpassing worth of the Lord Jesus, then the more we shall be willing to pour ourselves out in sacrificing ourselves for the eternal good of others.

Quote taken from: Courtney Anderson, 'To The Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson'.