“The Most Thrilling Story”

February 2, 2011

Here’s a great insight from the life of Adoniram Judson:

During Adoniram’s visit to America after over 30 years away, there were many who wanted to hear him speak.  He had become quite famous while he had been gone serving in Burma.  On one particular occasion, after a sermon at a small church (because of his health, his voice was just about worthless for public speaking), he spoke for “some fifteen minutes ‘with singular simplicity, and . . . touching pathos,’ as Emily [his soon to be third wife] thought, of the love of the Saviour, ‘what he has done for us, and what we owe him'”

Emily continued, “As he sat down . . . it was evident, even to the most unobservant eye, that most of the listeners were disappointed. After the exercises were over, several persons inquired of me, frankly, why Dr. Judson had not talked of something else; why he had not told a story . . . On the way home, I mentioned the subject to him.
‘Why, what did they want?’ he inquired; ‘I presented the most interesting subject in the world, to the best of my ability.’
‘But they wanted something different — a story.’
‘Well, I am sure I gave them a story — the most thrilling one that can be conceived of.’
‘But they had heard it before.  They wanted something new of a man who had just come from the antipodes’
‘Then I am glad they have it to say, that a man coming from the antipodes had nothing better to tell than the wondrous story of Jesus’ dying love.’

(taken from “To the Golden Shore” p. 461-62)