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The Pioneer of Burma

ADONIRAM JUDSON, the renowned missionary to
        India, Burma, etc., has an interesting story.
   At the age of sixteen he formed an intimacy with a
young man, E-----, a free-thinker, engaged in amuse-
ments of a questionable kind, and before deciding on his
future course in life left home with the intention of making
a tour through some of the northern states of his native
land.   Before setting out he had told his father of his
infidel sentiments, and had been severely condemned
by him.
   His father's arguments he could repel, but his mother's
tears and warnings, appealing to a nature, though proud,
still tender and susceptible, made an impression which it
was impossible to shake off.
   "I am in no danger," he thought to himself.   "I am
only seeing the world--the dark side of it, as well as
the bright; and I have too much self-respect to do any-
thing mean or vicious."

   Happily for Judson, at this critical period he stopped
at a country inn.   The landlord mentioned, as he lighted
him to his room, that he had been obliged to place him
next door to a young man who was exceedingly ill, pro-
bably in a dying state, but he hoped that it would occasion
him no uneasiness.   Judson assured him that, beyond
pity for the poor sick man, he should have no feeling
whatever, and that now, having heard of the circum-
stance, his pity would not, of course, be increased by the
nearness of the object.   But it was, nevertheless, a very
restless night.   Sounds came from the sick chamber--
sometimes the movements of the watchers, sometimes
the groans of the sufferer; but it was not these which dis-
turbed him.   He thought of what the landlord had said--
the stranger was probably in a dying state; and was he
?   Alone, and in the dead of night, he felt a
blush of shame steal over him at the question, for it
proved the shallowness of his philosophy.   What would
the clear-minded intellectual, witty E----- (the talented,
but deistical young man alluded to before) say to such
weakness?   But still his thoughts would revert to the sick
man.   Was he a Christian, calm and strong in the hope of
a glorious immortality, or was he shuddering upon the
brink of a dark, unknown future?
   "Perhaps he was a ‘free- thinker,’ educated by Christian
parents and prayed over by a Christian mother.   The
landlord had described him as a young man; and in
imagination he was forced to place himself upon the
dying bed, though he strove with all his might against it.
As soon as he had risen he went in search of the landlord,
and inquired for his fellow-lodger.   He is dead,’ was the
reply.   ‘Dead!’   ‘Yes, he is gone, poor fellow!’   ‘Do
you know who he was?’
  ‘Oh, yes; it was a young man
from Providence College--a very fine fellow, his name
was E-----.’"

   Judson was completely stunned--it was his atheistic
friend!   After hours had passed, he knew not how, he
attempted to pursue his journey.   But one single thought
occupied his mind; and the words, "Dead!" "Lost!"
"Lost!" were continually ringing in his ears.   He knew
the religion of the Bible to be true; he felt its truth, and
he was in despair.   In this state of mind he resolved to

abandon his scheme of travelling, and at once turned his
horse's head towards Plymouth.
   From that hour his life, outwardly and inwardly,
became changed.   All his plans for the future were re-
versed.   The dreams of literary distinction were renounced,
and the one great question which he put to himself now
was, "How shall I so order my future being as best to
please God?"

   The tale of his hardships, shipwrecks, imprisonments,
and persecutions would make angels weep.   Yet he mur-
mured not.   He translated the whole Bible into Burmese,
and was buried at sea in 1850.

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