30 December 1822
Ann Judson, Baltimore, to Revd and Mrs. Lucius Bolles, Salem, Massachusetts, 30 December 1822.
Baltimore Dec. 30th 1822
My beloved Friends,
My first letter, written after leaving New England, was addressed to you, forwarded from New York. That, I trust, has long since been received, & will be to you a convincing proof of the strong impression your affectionate kindness made on my mind while in Salem, & of my unwillingness to be forgotten by those whose friendly regard I value. And even now inclination prompts my reminding you again, that there is still such a person in existance as Ann Judson who begs leave to interrupt, or a few moments, your studies & domestic avocations to lay before you a plan, concerning the propriety & expediency of which, she desires your deliberate & candid opinion. To you it will appear new & perhaps, in its first attitude, produce an unfavourable impression, but, be it so, I still desire your advice, your opinion & prayers. I would first however state, that it has long been the opinion of Mr Judson & myself, that the gospel, humanly speaking, could not have an extensive spread ^in Burmah^ without the toleration of Government. We could not venture to solicit that a host of Missionaries should be sent to that dark, yet interesting nation, while our
hands ^field^ for operation is so very circumscribed. It has therefore been with us a subject of inquiry, what means were the most likely to gain the toleration of the Emperor. The following plan has frequently presented itself to our consideration. That a letter be written to the Emperor by our Board stating their object in sending a mission into his dominions, the advantages resulting, & the wishes of the Board concerning it, at the same time recognizing Mr Judson as a Teacher of religion in his own country – that this representation & petition be respectfully written, & sealed in an official manner, accompanyed by a valuable present & carried by a person authorized by the Board, & whose acquaintance with the world & gentleness of manners, would have a tendency to render such an embassy ultimately successful. To see a person of respectability & address from a foreign country, to hear a letter which bears marks of having been officially written by the “Great Teachers,” & to view a present of real value, would be at once, a convincing proof to his majesty that we were not imposters, that these were no forged documents, & that the question, whether he would be favourable to the introduction of Christianity was of no little consequence. The fact, that we must make an other effort for toleration or give up the idea, of our mission in Burman being farther extended is obvious. It is also evident to my mind that an embassy of this kind presents a much fairer prospect of success, than tho’ Mr Judson & myself should go to Court unaccompanyed by such documents. The only two objections which can be made, are, the expense which must necessarily be incurred, & the appearance of trusting to an arm of flesh. To you, my beloved friend, I am well aware, it is unnecessary to say any thing to these objections. Your own liberal views & feelings will soon remove them. But all the baptists are not Bolles’ they must therefore be removed. Can the Board do better than expend part of the 20000 dollars now in their hands, in attempting to establish firmly the gospel of our Lord in one of the greatest heathen empires on earth? And if we do not use all the means God has put in our hands, can we expect him to work a miracle. I should have mentioned this subject to you when in Salem, but it has always been my intention to communicate first with Mr Rice, & make a complete statement of the situation of things in Burmah. This I have done within the last two days, & am happy to find that his views accord with mine & those of Mr J. You are the first persons to whom I have written on the subject, & must request that nothing be said on the subje to an individual, excepting you may think proper to consult with, Mr Moriarty. “Secrecy & dispatch, are the sinews of business.” Pray let me have a letter as early as possible. My direction, is Mrs Judson Care of Dr Judson Hospital Surgeon, Baltimore. My situation here is very comfortable. I see no company, for my brother has much more resolution than I have. I have not been out of the house since I arrived owing to a hard cough & pains in the side with which I have been afflicted. The physicians here have ordered me to go through a course of mercury, & I am now, thank God, convalescent, tho’ my mouth is still affected with the mercury. I should not probably have lived in New England. The weather here is mild & delightful. I am no^w^ able to study & write four or five hours in the day, & have made considerable advances in my “History of the Burmah Mission.” I doubt not but I have your prayers. O for more personal religion, more purity of heart & more of a single eye to the glory of God in what I do. One hours intimate communication with God is after all, worth every thing beside. Love to your niece. Affectionately Yours –
A. H. Judson
I did not intend to weary you when I began this but it would seem thus long, & even more I have not said half I wish. Provided you think favourably of this plan, what would you think of the Embassadors not being a professor of religion? He would have nothing to do with the negociations as he would not speak the language. Provided he had every other qualifications, would this be an insurmountable objection?
Address: Revd Lucius Bolles | Salem | Mass
Text: Ann Judson Papers, RG 1108, American Baptist Historical Society Archives, Atlanta, GA.