sionary designs before the throne.
Having purchased a boat, and having obtained from
the viceroy a pass " to go up to the golden feet and
lift up their eyes to the golden face/' he embarked one
brilliant morning in December,* in company with his
brother-missionary, and attended by a staff of sixteen.
The boat, measuring six feet in the middle by forty
-88 THE VOYAGE.
from stem to stern, was laid throughout with a deck of
bamboos, on the hinder part of which constructed of
thin boards and a covering of thatch and mats were
two small rooms, just high enough to allow them to sit
and to lie down. On board, as a present to the king,
was an English Bible, in six volumes, covered, after the
Burman fashion, with gold-leaf, and each volume
enclosed in a rich wrapper; and, in addition, were
sundry pieces of fine cloth, for the leading officials at
court. " We are penetrating," Judson wrote, as the
boat put off that day from Rangoon, ' ' into the heart
of one of the greatest kingdoms of the world, to make
a formal offer of the Gospel to a despotic monarch, and,
through him, to the millions of his subjects. May the
Lord accompany us, and crown our attempt with the
desired success, if it be consistent with His wise and
Night came on ; and they moored at a village,
where, two or three days before, a murderous onslaught
had been made by a band of robbers on the boat of
an English traveller, and the steersman and another
man had been killed at a single shot. Another
day, they met a special officer with a detachment of
men in pursuit of a body of marauders, who had
wounded and beaten off a whole boat's company, and
had plundered it of a vast treasure. But " perils of
robbers," like graver perils which were yet in store,
did not move them; safe beneath the overshadowing
wing, they declined a proffered escort, and proceeded.
Now two hundred and sixty miles from Rangoon,
AN ANCIENT CITY.
they gazed one evening with mute amazement on the
ruins of a magnificent city, once the seat of empire.
Ascending a lofty edifice some ninety feet in height,
they had around them a vast champaign covered with
splendid monuments and pagodas some in utter ruin,
others fast decaying, whilst a few exhibited traces of
recent attention and repair. Remains of the ancient
wall, the pillars of the gates, together with sundry
grotesque, decapitated, architectural relics, chequered
the motley scene, suggesting mournful ideas of the
decaying remains of ancient grandeur. " Here,"
Judson wrote, " about eight hundred years ago, the
religion of Buddh was first publicly recognised and
established as the religion of the empire. Here the
first Buddhist apostle of Burmah disseminated the
doctrines of Atheism, and taught his disciples to pant
after annihilation as the supreme good. Some of the
ruins before our eyes are probably the remains of
pagodas designed by himself. We looked back on the
centuries of darkness which are past. We looked
forward, and Christian hope would fain brighten the
prospect. Perhaps we stand on the dividing line of
the empires of darkness and of light. Will not the
churches of Jesus one day supplant these idolatrous
monuments, and the chanting of the devotees of Buddh
die away before the Christian hymn of praise ?"
Other ninety miles of rowing, and they descried in
the distance, amidst the glittering pagodas of New
Ava, the golden steeple of the palace where shone
or frowned the "golden face." The next morning
90 THE SUSPENSE.
found them in the verandah of the former viceroy of
Rangoon, now a minister of state; and, bringing out a
valuable present, and another for his wife, they recalled
Mrs. Judson's interviews with the latter in that city, and
the minister smiled a welcome. Not revealing as yet
their precise object, they simply craved an audience of the
king ; and, a favourite officer having been condescend-
ingly charged to arrange it, they retired to their little
cabin on the river.
They were sitting quietly in the cool of the even-
ing, committing their way in faith to God,
" Not slothful they, though seeming unemploy'd,"
when the officer was announced, intimating that to-
morrow morning he would conduct them into the
royal presence. They lay down in sleepless anxiety,
feeling that to-morrow's dawn would usher in the most
eventful day of their lives. The next morning, they
were on their way to the palace ; and they halted at the
house of the minister. "The emperor," said his high-
ness, " has been apprised privately of your arrival, and
a message has come, ' Let them be introduced/ '' As
they approached the palace-yard, they found an as-
semblage of governors and petty kings waiting to be
introduced. Ushered into an apartment in the yard,
they were announced to the private minister of state,
who, " receiving them very pleasantly," assigned them
a seat of honour in front of the native dignitaries.
" We are missionaries, your highness," said Mr. Judson
to the minister softly, availing himself of a momentary
THE ROYAL PALACE.
pause, " propagators of religion, and we wish to pre-
sent to the emperor our sacred books, and also this
petition." Taking it from his hand, the minister
glanced over its contents, and was proceeding to put
some questions in a familiar way about the Christian's
God and his religion, when suddenly it was announced
from the palace that the golden foot was about to
advance. Hastily rising, and donning his robes of
state, the minister moved towards the king, whispering
to Mr. Judson, as he passed, " I must seize this mo-
ment to present you;" and adding, with an ominous
gravity, " How can you propagate religion in this
empire? But come along."
It was the day of the celebration of a recent
victory ; and that hour had been fixed for his majesty
to come forth to witness a grand military and priestly
display. Nothing could be more unpropitious; and, as
they entered by a flight of steps a most magnificent
hall, gorgeous on all sides with gold, and occupied by
the great officers of state waiting for the king, those
inauspicious words of the minister, and his peculiar
tone in uttering them, weighed upon their souls like
a nightmare, and " their hearts sank within them."
On a raised dais at one end of the hall the minister
took his seat, placing at his side the strangers and
their somewhat suspicious present. Opening out from
that end of the apai'tment was the parade-ground,
where his majesty was momentarily expected ; whilst
away in the distance, at the other end, seen through
an avenue of splendid pillars, was the door from which
92 THE MONARCH.
was to issue the haughty monarch. Five minutes
passed, each courtier the while putting himself into
the most respectful attitude, when suddenly from
behind the dais a voice whispered " His majesty has
entered ! "
And there he is this " modern Ahasuerus "
moving forward " in solitary grandeur," with " the
proud gait and majesty of an Eastern monarch," his
dress " rich, though not distinctive," and in his hand
a gold-sheathed sword the terrific emblem of his
power. His " high aspect " and " commanding eye "
rivet every countenance ; and he strides on, each
head now in the dust, and Judson and his brother
kneeling, with hands folded, and their eyes intently
fixed on the monarch. " Who are these ? " he enquired,
suddenly stopping as he drew near to the spot where
the strangers were doing homage. " The teachers,
great king ! " replied Judson, respectfully, in his
majesty's own vernacular. " What ! " rejoined the
monarch, evidently taken with the sounds of his
mother-tongue, issuing from the lips of foreigners ;
" you speak Burman ! the priests that I heard of last
night ? When did you arrive ? Are you teachers of
religion ? Are you like the Portuguese priest ? Are
you married? Why do you dress so?" These and
other queries answered, a smile played on that fierce
mien ; and, moving to an elevated seat, he sat down
for a few moments, his hand resting on the hilt of the
significant weapon at his side, and his eye fixed intently
on the two strangers.
THE AUDIENCE. 93
" Read the petition," said he, addressing the private
minister of state, who stood at Judson's right hand. It
was a brief appeal to the royal clemency on behalf of
"the American teachers" and their work, begging
that, "taking refuge in the king's authority/' they
might "preach their religion in these dominions," and
also that any who accepted it, whether foreigners or
natives, might be " exempt from government molest-
ation." The emperor listened ; and, stretching out his
hand to the minister, he took it, and, beginning at the
top, read it deliberately through. This over, and
handing it back to the minister without uttering a
word, he next accepted the tract, which Judson had
taken care to have ready, " adorned in the handsomest
style and dress possible." And, meanwhile, their hearts
rose to God for a display of His grace. . " Oh ! have
mercy upon Burmah ! " they secretly cried ; " have
mercy on her king ! " For a moment, the king fixed
his eye on the tract. "There is one eternal God,"
were its opening words, "who is independent of the
incidents of mortality ; and besides Him there is no
god." It was enough. A disdainful scowl gathered
on the monarch's brow; and, rising abruptly, he dashed
the paper upon the ground. Stooping forward, the
minister picked it up, and handed it to Judson. And,
at the same instant, from behind, the kindly officer
who had come with them, adroitly displayed one of
the beautiful volumes of the present, in the hope of
arresting the royal displeasure. But all was over the
king took no notice and the minister, interpreting
shrewdly his master's will, said "Why do you ask for
such permission ? Have not the Portuguese, the
English, the Mussulmans, and people of all other
religions, full liberty to practise and worship according
to their own customs ? " Then, assuming a tone of
authority, he added " In regard to the objects of
your petition, his majesty gives no order. In regard
to your sacred books, his majesty has no use for them;
take them away."
The repulse was decisive. " Let them proceed to
the residence of my physician, the Portuguese priest,"
said the king, catching some hint which had been
dropped, in rising, about one of the strangers' skill in
medicine ; " and let him examine whether they can be
useful to me in that line, and report accordingly."
And, striding forward a few paces, he threw himself
down on a cushion, listening to the music, and gazing
on the gay scene without. The strangers, and their
present, were huddled up and hurried away. Passing
from the hall, they were conducted first to the apart-
ment of the minister of state, whom the officer had ap-
prised of the issue, but in terms the mildest possible.
They were next led to the house of the Portuguese
priest, distant two miles, through the heat of a broiling
sun, and through the dust of the streets of the city.
" Can you secure the emperor from disease," asked
the inquisitor, scornfully, " and make him live for
ever ? " " No," they replied, " we have no such
secret ;" and, taking leave, they hastened back to their
The church in Burmah was not to languish into
weakness under the sunshine of royal favour, but to he
cradled into strength amidst rude storms. Like the
confessors of the Roman catacombs, its saints were to
sing praises, not in kings' palaces, but in caves and
dens of the earth. And these ills were to be not un-
compensated. The men of Thessalonica were not to be
the last to " receive the Word in much affliction, with
joy of the Holy Ghost."
" In the kingdom of His grace, granteth He omnipotence to prayer.
Man ! regard thy prayers as a purpose of love to thy soul ;
Esteem the providence that led to them, as an index of God's good
96 THE IRON MALL.
The "iron-mall" A persecutor Dismissal from Ava A visitor
on the river The three disciples An appeal The voice of God
" I will pray " " Loneliness of lot " SCENES IN THE ZAYAT
A convert- A group The " teacher " First female convert
A parting Return to Rangoon The welcome A native
doctor The dawn Cottage-scene The Viceroy A reprieve
New converts The death-bed A Burman officer Mrs.
Judson's illness Visit to America Lessons of solitude Life's
great business Return to Burmah Judson's one aim Second
visit to Ava Interviews with the king Grant of land.
IN a prison in Burmah, some fifteen years before, there
had lain, one day, stretched on the pavement, and sur-
rounded hy a group of tormentors, a sufferer undergoing
the torture of the " iron-mall.'" Loaded with chains,
he had been gradually beaten from the ends of his feet
up to his breast, until his body was one livid wound.
At every blow he had pronounced the name of Christ,
feeling, as he declared afterwards, little or no pain.
An English stranger was there, secretly giving* money
to the executioners, to induce them to strike gently.
But another stood by, gloating with fiendish malice
over his agonies, and urging the sternest vengeance.
DISMISSAL FROM AVA. 97
The sufferer was a Burman teacher of distinction, who
had embraced the Roman Catholic faith ; and the evil
genius of the scene was his nephew, " compelling, him
to recant." The nephew was now the Emperor's chief
private minister of state.
A day or two had passed since Judson's interview
in the gorgeous hall, and an Englishman was in the
audience-chamber, summoned before the king. " These
foreign teachers ! " said his majesty, knowing his visitor
to be their friend, and adopting a tone of mingled
anger and scorn ; " What ! they have come presuming
_to convert us to their religion ! Let them leave our
capital. We have no desire to receive their instructions.
Perhaps they may find some of their countrymen in
Rangoon, who may be willing to listen to them." The
message was intended for Mr. Judson and his associate ;
and the monarch's whole bearing indicated that the
decision was final. Even the minister, before so
friendly, was now " cold and reserved." " Tell them,"
were his words to the same Englishman, who had in-
terceded for them with the king, "that there is not
the least possibility of obtaining their object, should
they wait ever so long; therefore, let them go about
One thing only remained. " You must apply,"
said the friendly Englishman, " for a royal order, pro-
tecting your persons while you remain in Burmah.
Otherwise, as it will be notorious that you have
solicited royal patronage and been refused, you will
lie at the mercy of every ill-disposed person who may
98 THE BROAD SHIELD.
seek to molest you." Judson declined, both because
it would cost them a good deal, and also because he
preferred trusting in the Lord to keep himself and the
poor disciples safe. And covered, like Luther at
Worms, by Heaven's broad shield he quitted Ava,
writing in his diary that morning, as he put off from the
beach: "Between the desolation of our hearts and this
sandy, barren bank, there is an apt and sad congruity.
But the result of our travels and toils has been the
wisest and best possible ; a result which, if we could
see the end from the beginning, would call forth our
highest praise. Oh ! slow of heart to believe and trust
in the constant and overruling agency of our own
Almighty Saviour ! "
An evening or two afterwards, as they lay moored
for the night off a town upon the bank, who should
accost them but the teacher, Moung Shwa-gnong !
"We have been to Court," said Mr. Judson ; " and there
is nothing for it but persecution and suffei'ing for any
who dare to confess Jesus Christ." And, after narrating
their adventures at Ava, he concluded with the story of
the " iron-mall." " But I am not afraid," the teacher
replied, rather boastingly ; " since you left Rangoon,
I have not lifted up my folded hands before a pagoda."
" It is not for you," said Judson, solemnly, "that I am
concerned, but for those who have become disciples of
Christ. When they are accused and persecuted, they
cannot worship at the pagodas, or recant before the
Mangen priest." He was struck dumb ; his conscience
feeling the force of the needed rebuke. " Say nothing,"
A VISITOR. 99
continued Mr. Judson, after a brief pause ; " one thing
you know to be true, if you had not in some way or
other made your peace with the priest, your life would
not now be remaining in your body." " Then, if I
must die," he stammered out, labouring under deep
emotipn, " I shall die in a good cause. I know it is
the cause of truth. I believe in the eternal God, in
His Son Jesus Christ, in the atonement which Christ
hath made, and in the writings of the Apostles as the
true and only word of God. It is true I sometimes
follow the crowd, on days of worship, in order to avoid
persecution ; but I only walk up one side of the pagoda
and down the other." "You may be a disciple of
Christ in heart," said Mr. Judson, beginning to hope
he might have made some advance since they had last
met; "but you are not a full disciple, you have not
faith and resolution enough to keep all the commands
of Christ, particularly that which requires you to be
baptized, though in the face of persecution and death."
Again, silent and grave, he stood, with his eyes fixed
on the ground, buried in thought. " We may not be
long now in Rangoon," resumed Mr. Judson, " since
the Emperor prohibits the propagation of the Christian
religion; and no Burman will, under such circum-
stances, venture to investigate, much less to embrace
it." " Say not so," he replied, promptly, roused into
concern ; " there are some who will investigate, not-
withstanding ; and, rather than you should quit Ran-
goon, I will go myself to the Mangen priest and have a
public dispute. I know I can silence him. I know
100 WHAT NEXT ?
the truth is on my side." " Ah ! " answered the mis-
sionary, feeling that he needed such a reminder, " you
may have a tongue to silence him, but he has a pair of
fetters and an iron-mall to tame you. Remember
that." The inquirer had been up the river for a few
days, visiting an old acquaintance who was dangerously
ill. At first, he proposed to return with them ; but,
as they could not wait till he was ready, they bade
him adieu about nine, and retired to the boat to
Hour after hour passed in the little cabin, and still
not an eyelid was closed. "What is to be done?"
they again and again asked themselves, pondering their
future course. What if they should find some disciples
firm, and others seriously enquiring ? Might not the
Lord have some chosen ones, whom He designed to call
in under the darkest trials ? Might not He intend to
prove that it was not by might nor by power, but only
by His Spirit ? If so, ought they hastily to forsake
the place ? Or again, would it not, in the face of a
fixed purpose of the Government to persecute, be rash-
ngss^ind a tempting of God to .maintain so forlorn
hope? Could they .bear-to- .-see' their dear disciples in
prison, in., fetters, under torture ? Could they stand
h,y them, and encourage them to bear patiently the rage
of their persecutors ? Were they willing to share the
persecution with them ? Though the spirit might
sometimes be almost willing, was not the flesh too
weak ? Loosing the next morning at day-break, they
rapidly descended the river ; and, arrived at Rangoon,
THE THREE DISCIPLES. 101
they called together the three disciples, and told them
how grave was their position.
Not cooled in their first love, nor quailing before
the persecutor's frown, they at once and to a man took
courage. " If you leave Rangoon," said one of them,
as Mr. Judson was hinting the probability of transfer-
ring the mission to a tract of country betwixt Bengal
and Arracan, " I will follow you to any part of the
world. " " As for me," said another, " I go where
preaching is to be had." The third, meanwhile, was
.silent and thoughtful. He was married ; and it was a
law of Burmah that no native woman should leave the
country. Was he to leave his wife behind ? "I can-
not follow you," he at last answered, in broken accents,
" on account of my dear wife ; but, if I must be left
here alone, I shall remain performing the duties of
Jesus Christ's religion : no other shall I think of."
Was not this " a movement of the divine Spirit ?"
The interview gladdened Judson's heart ; and he
praised God for the grace which He had manifested to
Three or four days were spent in inquiries about
Chittagong, as presenting an open door for the gospel,
when unexpectedly one evening a visitor came in,
anxious to see the missionary. It was Moung Byaa,
one of the converts, accompanied by his brother-in-law,
who once used to attend worship at the zayat. " I
have come," said the disciple earnestly, "to entreat
you not to leave Rangoon just yet." " It seems use-
less," Mr. Judson answered, " to remain, as matters
102 AN APPEAL.
now are. We cannot open the zayat ; we cannot have
public worship ; no Burman will dare to examine this
religion ; and, if none examine, none can be expected
to embrace it." " Oh, teacher \" replied Byaa, with
deep emotion, " my mind is distressed ; I can neither
^at nor sleep, since I find you are going away. I have
been round among those who live near us, and I find
some who are even now examining the new religion.
Brother Myat-lah here is one of them ; and he unites
with me in my petition." The other eagerly assented,
and with an earnestness of feeling which went straight
to Judson's heart. " Do stay with us a few months,"
Byaa continued. " Do stay till there are eight or ten
disciples; then appoint one to be the teacher of the
rest. I shall not, after that, be concerned about the
event ; though you should leave the country, the religion
will spread of itself even the Emperor cannot stop it."
At that moment, another of the converts entered, also
deeply moved. "You cannot leave now," said he, un-
consciously touching the same chord. " I know of
several who are enquiring, and who, I think, will yet
become disciples in spite of all opposition." It sounded
in their ears like the voice of God. " We could not,"
Mr. Judson writes, "restrain our tears at hearing all
this. f We live/ was my reply, ' only for the promotion
of the cause of Christ among the Burmans ; and, if
there is any prospect of success in Rangoon, we have
no desire to go to another place ; and we will, therefore,
reconsider the matter/ "
Two days passed, and the little assembly was
THE RESPONSE. 103
gathered in the zayat on the evening of the Lord's
day. The converts were there, and, with them, " a
sedate and pleasant man/ 3 who had not before been
known as an inquirer, besides other two whose faces
had not been wont to meet the preachers eye. The
humble company were breaking up, and had already
risen from their seats to leave, when one or two were
noticed lingering behind, as if some burden pressed
their spirit. " Teacher ! " one of the converts at length
ventured to say, the others instinctively gathering
round, " your intention of leaving has filled us all with
trouble. Is it good to forsake us thus ? Notwith-
standing present difficulties and dangers, it is to be
remembered that this work is not yours or ours, but
God's. If He give light, the religion will spread
nothing can impede it." " Let us all/' added another
of them, elevating his arm, and his eye kindling into
intense brightness, " make an effort, each for him-
self. As for me, I will pray. Only leave a little
church of ten, with a teacher set over them ; and I
shall be fully satisfied." What was to be done ?
" We cannot all," said Judson, as they met alone,
after the natives had gone, "leave these people, in
such affecting circumstances." It was decided that he
should remain, meanwhile, at Rangoon, and that his
surviving colleague should repair to Chittagong to plant
a missionary outpost, both as a centre of a new enter-
prise, and also as a harbour of refuge in the event of
an outburst of the impending storm. A month elapsed ;
and Colman embarked for Bengal, leaving the Judsons
104 THREE DAYS.
once more to their " loneliness of lot." It was on
March 27, 1820.
In the humble zayat might be seen, one night, long
after other eyes had been sealed in slumber, two young
men in grave, earnest converse. "A throbbing con-
science/' it has been said,
" Spurred by remorse,
Hath a strange force."
That youthful Burman, listening so eagerly to Moung
Thahlah, has felt lately the goadings of sin ; and his