April 11, 2012 by Jason Hood
Adoniram Judson had three wives, all incredible women. The first (Ann, also called Nancy) was strong-willed and fiery yet compassionate and godly; the second (Sarah) beautiful and strong enough to engage in frontier mission work on her own after her first husband died; the third (Emily) was homely but good-humored and blessed with strong literary talents. Nancy and Sarah died on mission; all three aided his mission work greatly; and all were loved and celebrated by their husband.
When Adoniram proposed to Emily, he sent her a letter along with a watch. The watch was first given to Nancy when she left Asia for a furlough in the US, and after her death he had given the watch to Sarah (at that time married to another missionary in Burma) as he divested himself of Nancy’s worldly possessions. The letter reads as follows:
January 20, 1846
I hand you, dearest one, a charmed watch. It always comes back to me, and brings its bearer with it. I gave it to Ann when a hemisphere divided us, and it brought her safely and surely to my arms. I gave it to Sarah during her husband’s lifetime (not then aware of the secret), and the charm, though slow in its operation, was true at last.
Were it not for the sweet sympathies you have kindly extended to me, and the blessed understanding that “love has taught me to guess at,” I should not venture to pray you to accept my present with such a note. Should you cease to “guess” and toss back the article, saying, “Your watch has lots its charm; it comes back to you, but brings not its wearer with it“– O first dash it to pieces, that it may be an emblem of what will remain of the heart of