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Clip 4 from Adoniram Judson

April 7, 2009

A “Romantic” Proposal

Adoniram set to work soliciting interest and organizing a mission board with the help of some fellow Andover students. They were preparing everything necessary to be sent overseas. Just a couple months out from departure while raising interest in churches and church families, he meets the bright, lovely, Nancy (“Ann”) Hasseltine. Adoniram promptly (this becomes quite the pattern for him) writes to her, but she does not reply for several days, knowing all that acceptance of his hand means. After receiving a non-committal letter on her part, not a flat rejection anyway, he promptly writes to her father asking for her hand in marriage:

I have now to ask, whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can consent to her departure, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life; whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this, for the sake of him who left his heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion, and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with the crown of righteousness, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?

How’s that for a proposal? It smacks of Jesus’ words “Count the cost” as much as permission to pursue a man’s daughter!

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