On this day in 1825, Ann Judson showed up at the horrid prison cell of her husband, Adoniram, with a small bundle.  Within that bundle laid a pale, puny, wailing baby.  Her name was Maria Elizabeth Butterworth Judson.

As Ann and Adoniram had been faithfully serving in Ava, the capital city of Burma, war had broken out between England and Burma.  The Burmese King, thinking that all white men were the same, whether they were from England or America, ordered every foreign male in his kingdom arrested and imprisoned in the infamous Death Prison.  This included Adoniram.  He was ruefully taken from his home, tied, and dragged across the city to be cast into the death prison. His dark, dank cell was filled with vermin, and Adoniram was shackled at the ankles. Every evening he was hanged upside down with only his head and shoulders resting on the ground.

From the first start, Ann did everything in her power to help her husband.  She would spend all day visiting one government official after another, begging for her husband’s release, giving them gifts, and wearing herself out.  But to make things even more difficult, Ann was pregnant.   Already, she and Judson had lost two children.  One Judson child had been stillborn; another died of tropical fever.  This would be their third and under such horrid conditions, the chances did not look good.

As long as she could, Ann continued to visit her husband and the government officials.  But on January 26th, Maria Elizabeth Butterworth Judson was born.  Twenty days later, Ann brought her daughter to show Adoniram.  Together, the couple embraced and cried and prayed.  They knew, that regardless of the circumstance, God was in control.  After Ann left, Judson secluded himself in the prison yard and composed a lullaby for his daughter:

Sleep, darling infant, sleep,

Hushed on thy mother’s breast;

Let no rude sound of clanking chains

Disturb they balmy rest.

Source:

To the Golden Shore by Courtney Anderson

 On this day : 365 amazing and inspiring stories about saints, martyrs & heroes By: R.J. Morgan

On this day in 1679, the Boston Baptists completed the erection of their first church building and held their first service there.  The congregation had been founded about ten years earlier when two women and seven men came together based on their strong commitment as disciples of Jesus Christ and their determination to worship God with freedom of conscience.  As the group grew, they were forced to meet in secret and when they were caught, they were arrested, jailed, publicly beaten, fined, and often were not allowed to speak in their own defense.

Under the leadership of John Russell and Isaac Hull, who were the co-pastors of the church,  they erected their first church building on the outskirts of town.  But soon after, the authorities sealed off the building so the believers could not enter and posted this condemnation on the door:

All persons are to take notice that by order of the Court the doors of this house are shut up and that they are inhibited to hold any meeting therein or to open the doors thereof, without license from Authority, til the General Court take further order as they will answer the contrary at their peril, dated in Boston 8th March, 1680, by order of the Council.

In May, they passed a law that “no person should erect or make use of a house for public worship, without license from the authorities,” upon pain of forfeiting the property.

The Baptist bravely continued to meet, sometimes outdoors amidst the cold and rainy weather.  Soon, their church building was reopened and they continued to meet.

Source:

The Baptist heritage By: H.L. McBeth

The History of the First Baptist Church

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