The Eschatology of Adoniram Judson

Adoniram Judson is known as the first American missionary. He came up in some studies today, and I pulled an old book I knew about and read some of his beliefs. His eschatology is stated below in an excerpt from Adoniram Judson and the Missionary Call by Erroll Hulse:

With regard to the future, Judson’s views were post-millennial. He believed in the conversion of the Jews and took practical steps to promote a fund of 10,000 dollars so that the American Baptist Board of Foreign Missions might establish a permanent missionary in Israel. This effort did not succeed. However, Judson was comforted by the knowledge that a tract describing his work in Burma had been translated by a Jew, and that it had been the means of the conversion of a group of Jews.

When he preached and evangelized in the ancient city of Prome, he was deeply conscious of the fact that he was the first ever herald of the Gospel in that place. “Thousands,” he wrote, “have never heard of God, nor their ancestors before the preacher has preached, and how the hearers have heard, the Day of Judgment will show.” He believed that his work was only a beginning, and that Buddhism would eventually be entirely removed. This belief in the complete conquest of the Gospel over all alien systems motivated his actions and influenced and directed his prayers.

He believed that Burma was to be converted to Christ, just as much as he believed that Burma existed. Just as much as he believed in the Holy Spirit, so much did he believe that in time Burma would be saved. During his visit to Boston in 1846, he was asked by James Loring, “Do you think the prospects are bright for the conversion of the heathen?” “As bright,” was his prompt reply, “as the promises of God!” It was his custom to plead for the fulfillment of those promises.

Speaking in America in 1846, he declared, “The world is yet in its infancy; the gracious designs of God are yet hardly developed. Glorious things are spoken of Zion, the city of our God. She is yet to triumph, and become the joy and glory of the whole earth.” He regarded it as a great privilege to be involved in laying the foundations for such a victory. These convictions bore him along in his constant labors of Bible translation. In the concluding years, he worked hard in forming a Burmese/English dictionary, which advanced far enough to be taken and completed by others.1


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