Adoniram Judson believed deeply in the power of the written Word. So firmly did he rely on the power of the Scripture that he printed and distributed his own tracts to a people who were not highly literate. Though the common person had some elementary literacy level, it was uncommon to spread news in general through the printed page. However, Judson still sought to spread the gospel through literature and Bible. Against all conventional wisdom, he was remarkably successful in his tract distribution. Having seen the amazing conversion fruit of tract distribution in Burma, he penned this poem, relishing the Word and its power to draw souls to Christ.
He never saw
The book of heavenly wisdom, and no saint
Had told him how the sinner might be saved.
But to his hut
A little tract—a messenger of love,
A herald of glad tidings—found its way.
Of death was on his cheek.
His burning brow
Told of the pain he felt.
Still no saint was near
To tell of joys to come.
No man of God
Stood by his bed to soothe the final hour;
But he had peace.
“When I am dead,” he saith, “put ye the little book
Upon my breast, and let it go with me
Down to my sepulcher. It taught me all
That I have learned of God, and heaven, and hell.
I love the man who wrote it, and that God
Who brought it to my home.”
Middleditch, Burmah’s Great, 288-289.