Ann Judson on the Purpose of Her Life

While on board ship on way to India in 1812, Ann Judson wrote a running letter to her mother that functioned as a sort of a diary over several days between March 1 and April 6. On this day (March 14), she wrote the following:

Have been reading the Lives of Sir William Jones, and Dr. Doddridge. What a striking difference between the two characters. The former distinguished for his erudition; the latter for his piety. The great object of the one, was evidently the attainment of literary fame, and the applause of man. The other sought chiefly the good of immortal souls, and the approbation of God. Enjoyed much this evening in conversation and prayer. Perhaps some of my friends at home were praying for me; and in answer to their prayers, the Holy Spirit came to animate and comfort my heart. feel thankful that God has given me an opportunity and inclined my heart, to leave all my friends for a heathen land. I desire no higher enjoyment in this life, than to be instrumental of leading some poor, ignorant heathen females, to the knowledge of the Saviour. To have a female praying society, consisting of those who were once in heathen darkness, is what my heart earnestly pants after, and makes a constant subject of prayer. Resolved to keep this in view, as one principal object of my life.

James D. Knowles, Memoir of Mrs. Ann H. Judson, Late Missionary to Burmah. Including a History of the American Baptist Mission in the Burman Empire, 2nd ed. (Boston: Lincoln & Edmands, 1829), 49. Free Google book here.

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