By Evan D. Burns
Yesterday, at the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, a mini-conference was held on Adoniram Judson (1788-1850). In honor of Judson, below is a portion of the farewell hymn written by Mrs. A. M. O. Edmond in 1846 for his final commissioning back to Burma. Here is part of the hymn sung by the assembly in Boston:
Fare ye well, O friends beloved! Speed ye on your mission high; Give to lands of gloomy error Living truths that never die. Tell, O tell them, Their redemption draweth nigh.
Bear abroad the gospel standard, Till its folds triumphant wave, And the hosts of sin and darkness Find forevermore a grave: Till, victorious, Jesus reigns, who died to save.
Fearless ride the stormy billows, Fearless every danger dare; Onward! in your steadfast purpose, We will follow you with prayer. Glorious mission! ‘Tis the Cross of Christ ye bear.
Though our parting waken sadness, ‘Tis not all the grief of woe; There are tears of Christian gladness Mingling with the drops that flow. ‘Tis for Jesus That we freely bid you go.
Man of God! once more departing Hence, to preach a Saviour slain, With a full, warm heart we give thee To the glorious work again. Faithful servant, Thou with Christ shall rest and reign.
John Dowling, The Judson Offering, 287-288; Robert T. Middleditch, Burmah’s Great Missionary, 400-401.
Evan D. Burns (Ph.D. Candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is on faculty at Asia Biblical Theological Seminary, and he lives in Southeast Asia with his wife and twin sons. They are missionaries with Training Leaders International.