For over twenty years and through much stress and hardship, Judson faithfully worked on this cherished project. When he first arrived in Burma, he had set two clear goals for his life. First he desired to establish a church. The conversion of the local people was his primary concern. But the second great goal of his missionary work was the translation of the Bible into the language of the people.
Judson knew that in order for the church to grow and be strong, they would need God’s word. So he made it a priority to finish the Bible as soon as possible. Judson was a brilliant scholar and already spoke Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. But when he got to Burma, he found a language that was radically different than any he had seen before. He hired a tutor and would spend twelve hours every day learning the language. Within three years, he had mastered the complicated Burmese grammar and language and soon began his work of translation.
When Judson was jailed during Burma’s war with England, Ann buried the manuscripts of the completed portions of the scriptures so the Burmese wouldn’t find them. But when the rainy season came on, there was great danger of them being ruined by dampness and Judson directed his wife to sew them up in an old, lumpy pillow and bring them to him. Because the pillow looked so bad, no of the jailers would steal it. For the next few months, Judson slept on the only Burmese Bible in the world.
When Judson was finally able to complete his work, he was overjoyed. In a letter to his mission society reporting the milestone, Judson writes:
Thanks be to God, I can now say I have attained. I have knelt down before him, with the last leaf in my hand, and imploring his forgiveness for all the sins which have polluted my labors in this department, and his aid in future efforts to remove the errors and imperfections which necessarily cleave to the work, I have commended it to his mercy and grace; I have dedicated it to his glory. May he make his own inspired word, now complete in the Burman tongue, the grand instrument of filling all Burmah with songs of praise to our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen
Scholars and Christian leaders alike have praised Judson’s translation for its accuracy and beauty. Even today, many Burmese still use Judson’s translation. On this day, Judson gave Burma the greatest gift: God’s word!
Gamell’s History of American Baptist Missions
One the most greatest preachers of his day, Spurgeon’s accomplishments were many. He had preached to tens of thousands of people. He started the famous Metropolitan Tabernacle. He founded a school to train preachers and an orphanage to care for young children. But Spurgeon was also heavily involved with missions. He was a close friend with Hudson Taylor and did much to support the ministry in China. In fact, many of the candidates who Taylor worked for were directed his way by the famous Spurgeon.
In 1866, Spurgeon preached a message to several hundred orphans regarding Psalm 51:7 “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” This message would give birth to the evangelistic tool, the wordless book. This book would become a powerful evangelistic tool that Taylor and the other missionaries would use with great success in China and other parts of Asia. This is just one example of the vast influence this man had on World Evangelism before he died.
After five services for the departed preacher, Spurgeon’s body was buried at West Norwood Cemetery, London. The grave is marked to this day with the words:
“Here lies the body of Charles Haddon Spurgeon Waiting for the Appearing of His Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Biographical dictionary of evangelicals By: Larsen, T., Bebbington
The Wordless Book (A sermon by Charles Spurgeon)