PUBLISHED BY THE
AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY,
150 NASSAU-STREET, NEW YORK.
THE BURMESE BOY.
You have doubtless heard of Dr. Judson, the
first missionary to Burmah, and of his persecu-
tion and impprisonment because he labored for
the good of the heathen in that dark land.
In his youth he lad wandered in the paths of
4 THE BURMESE BOY.
folly ; but when, through the grace of God, he
had been led to see his danger, and to flee to
Jesus for the salvation of his undying soul, he
longed to tell others of the Saviour of sinners.
He had heard of Burmah, where the people
were sunk in idolatry, and where the name of
Jesus was neither known nor loved; so he re-
solved to go out there, and preach to them.
He had much difficulty in learning the lan-
guage of the natives. As soon, however, as he
had succeeded in translating part of the New
Testament, he began to teach these poor hea-
then. One of his plans was this. He built a
zayat, or shed, by the road-side, to shelter him
from the burning sun; and there, day after day,
he used to sit, and read aloud, so that persons
passing by might be brought to listen to "the
words of eternal life:"
SHe was thus employed one day, when a Bur-
mese officer, tall, and dignified in appearance
and manner, whom lie had often noticed in the
town, came up, leading by the hand a bright-
eyed, sprightly boy named Moung Moung.
"Papa, papa," said the child, pulling the arm
of his grave father; "look, look, papa, there is
Jesus Christ's man. Amai! how shockingly
The missionary, raising his eyes, gave the
child one of his brightest smiles, just as he was
THE BURMESE BOY. 5
leaving the zayat. The father did not speak or
turn his head; but the boy had caught the kind
look, and the wearied missionary indulged some
hope that his hour's reading had not been
Day after day went by, the stranger always
carrying the same determined look; but every
day the child made some slight advance towards
the friendship of the missionary, bending his
half-shaven head, and raising his little nut-col-
ored hand to his forehead, by way of saluta-
tion, and smiling till his round face dimpled all
over, like ripples on a sunny pool.
One day as the father and child came in sight,
the missionary beckoned with his hand, and
the child at a single bound came to his knee.
The missionary wound a gay-colored Madras
handkerchief round his head, and kissed him,
and instantly he ran back to his father's side.
Very beautiful!" exclaimed the child, touch-
ing his new turban, and looking into his father'
clouded face, his eyes sparkling, and his face
covered with smiles.
"You have a very fine boy there, sir," said
Mr. Judson, in a kindly tone, stepping out to the
road-side. The officer, somewhat confused, made
a low bow, and passed on.
"That zayat, Moung Moung," said the father
gravely, as they walked along, "is not a very
6 THE BURMESE BOY.
good place to go to. Those white foreigners
are -" he left the sentence unfinished; but a
mysterious shake of the head showed what he
meant to say. The child gazed into his face in
silence, and, after a while, the father said, "I
shall leave you at home to-morrow, to keep you
away from him. We will have done with him;
you shall go there no more."
"If I can help it, papa."
"Help it," replied the father, who seemed
very uneasy. "Hear the foolish child! What
strange fancies!" And for a few moments, as
they walked along, there was silence.
"Is it true," asked the child, after a little time,
looking up with a smile,.but yet with a serious
expression, into the stern face of his father, that
she-my mother "-
"Hush, AMoung MAoung."
"Is it true," urged the child, "that she prayed
to the Lord Jesus Christ?"
"Who dares to tell you so, Moung Moung?"
"I must not say, papa; the one who told me
said it was as much as his life was worth
to talk of such things to your son. Did she,
"What did they mean? Who could have told
you such a tale ?"
"But did she, papa?"
"That is a very pretty turban the foreigner
THE BURMESE BOY. 1
gave you;" said the father, trying to divert the
"Tell me, did she-did my mother pray to
Jesus Christ?" repeated the boy, with increasing
"There, there," said the officer, "you have
talked enough, my boy."
As they walked along, a woman with a palm-
leaf fan before her face, had been following so
closely in the steps of the stranger as to catch
almost every word of this conversation. This
woman proved afterwards to be the child's
nurse, and from her Dr. Judson received the
account of this conversation.
Meanwhile, the missionary was still sitting in
the zayat, thoughtful and serious. "Ko Shway-
bay," lie at length called out; and there appear-
ed at the door of an inner apartment a native
convert, bearing a large bag, which he had just
been filling with tracts and books.
"Did you ever notice the tall man who has just
passed leading a little boy?"
"I saw him. He is a writer under the govern-
ment; a very respectable man-proud, reserv-
And what else do you know about him?"
"He hates Christians, teacher."
"Is he very bigoted, then?"
"No, teacher; he is more like an infidel than
8 THE BURMESE BOY.
a Budhist. Serious as he seems, he sometimes
treats sacred things very lightly. But does the
teacher remember," continued the convert, "it
may be three or four years ago, a young woman
who came for medicine? She was not like other
women. She had the face of an angel, and her
voice was like the chimes of the pagoda-bells
at midnight. She was the favorite wife of this
stranger whom you have noticed, and this little
boy, her only child, was very ill. She did not
dare to ask you to the house, or even to send a
servant for the medicine, for her husband was
one of the most violent persecutors of the Chris-
"Aye, I do recollect her; I remember her dis-
tress, and her warm gratitude. And so this lit-
tle boy is her child. What has become of the
"Has the teacher forgot putting a gospel of
Matthew into her hand, and saying that it con-
tained medicine for her, for that she was afflicted
with a worse disease than the fever of her little
son, and then praying for her? They say that
the medicine cured her. She read her book at
night, while watching by her baby, and then she
would kneel down and pray as the teacher had
done. At last her husband got the book."
"What did he do with it?".
"Only burned it. But she was a tender little
THE BURMESE BOY. 9
woman, and when the baby got out of danger,
she took the fever. She grew weaker day after
day, but her face became more beautiful, and
they saw she was dying. She got courage as
she drew near Paradise, and begged her hus-
band to send for you. He was not a hard-heart-
ed man, yet much as he loved her, he would not
send; and so she died, talking to the last mo-
ment of the Lord Jesus, and calling on every
body about her to love him, and to worship
none but him. The father has taken an oath to
destroy every body who speaks of this; but the
teacher may be sure the little child would not
run into his arms, unless he had been taught
The next day the officer passed by on the
other side of the way, but without the little boy.
This he did the day after, and again on the third
day. But on the fourth morning, who should
spring up the steps of the zayat but the child,
full of spirits, and behind him his grave, digni-
fied father. The boy had on his head the new
turban, on which was placed a red tray bearing
a cluster of golden plantains. The gift he placed
at Mr. Judson's feet, and the father, with a cour-
teous bow, took his seat upon the mat.
"You are the foreign priest," he said, after
calling to his child to sit down by his side.
"I am a missionary," said Dr. Judson.
10 THE BURMESE BOY.
"And so," replied the stranger, smiling, "you
make people believe in Jesus Christ. My little
son here has heard of you, sir," he added in a
careless tone-yet not so careless but that the
missionary could discover some anxiety under-
neath-"and he is very desirous to learn some-
thing about Jesus Christ. It is a pretty story you
tell of him, prettier, I think, than any of our fa-
bles; and you need not be afraid to set it forth in
its brightest colors, for my Moung Moung will
never see through its foolishness, of course."
"A'h, you think so," said Dr. Judson; "to what
particular story do you refer?"
"Why, that strange story about a person you
call Jesus Christ-a great prince, or something of
that sort, who, you say, died for us poor fellows;
and the pretty fancy has quite delighted little
Moung Moung here. I am a worshipper of Lord
Gaudama. But, of course, neither you nor I be-
lieve all the fables of our respective religions."
Are you not afraid that my teachings will do
the child harm ?" asked Dr. Judson.
"You are a very honest fellow, after all," said
the visitor, looking at him with a smile; then
turning to the child, he added, in a tone of mixed
tenderness and fear, "Nothing can harm little
Moung Moung, sir."
"But," replied Dr. Judson, "what if I should
tell you I do believe every thing I preach, as
THE BURMESE BOY. 11
firmly as I believe you sit on the mat before me ;
and that it is the one desire of my heart to make
everybody else believe it-you and your child
The father tried to smile, but he looked as if
he thought it wrong to do so, and quietly an-
swered, "I have heard of a writing you possess
which, by your leave, I will take home, and read
to Moung Moung."
"Sah-ya," said Dr. Judson, solemnly holding
out to him a tract, which he had taken from a
parcel lying on the table, "I herewith put into
your hands the key to eternal life and happiness.
This active, intelligent soul of yours cannot be
intended to dwell, in another life, in a dog, a
monkey, or a worm. God made it for higher
purposes; and I hope and pray that I may yet
meet you, all beautiful and pure and glorious,
in a world beyond the reach of pain or death,
and, above all, beyond the reach of sin."
The child up to this time had sat like a statue.
his usually dancing eyes fixed on Dr. Judson; at
these words, however, he sprang forward, and
cried out, "Papa, papa, hear him! Let us both
love the Lord Jesus Christ. My mother loved
him, and in the golden country of the blessed she
is waiting for us."
"I must go," whispered the officer hoarsely,
and attempting to rise.
12 THE BURMESE BOY.
"Let us pray," said the missionary, kneeling
down; and the child placed his hands together
on his forehead, bowing his head to the mat,
while the father again sat down. As he prayed,
the Sah-ya's head gradually drooped, and plac-
ing his elbows on his knees, he covered his face
with his hands. When the prayer was ended,
he rose up, and taking the child by the hand
he bowed in silence, and went away.
The missionary often saw them after this in-
terview walking past his zayat, but the Sah-ya
only bowed to him, and seemed as if he wished
to shun all further acquaintance. The boy was
not often with him; but occasionally the little
fellow would come running up for a moment to
ask for a book, when the missionary could notice
his thoughtful manner.
Meanwhile that terrible scourge the cholera
had seized the little boy, and when Dr. Judson
entered the room, a wild wailing sound told the
tale that death had entered before him.
"He is gone up to the golden country," mur-
mured a voice close to his. ear, "to bloom for
ever amid the royal lilies of paradise."
On turning, he saw a middle-aged woman,
holding to her mouth a palm-leafed fan, and
fearing to pronounce all the words she uttered
distinctly. She was the same person whom lie
had seen following little Moung Moung and biis
THE BURMESE BOY. 13
father.. She added, "HIe worshipped the true
God, and trusted in the Lord dur Redeemer, the
Lord Jesus Christ. He called, and was answer-
ed; he was weary-weary, and in pain; but the
Lord loved him, and took him home to be a little
lamb in his bosom for ever."
"What did he talk of?"
"Only of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose face he
seemed to sec."
"And who are you?" inquired Dr. Judson, ad-
dressing himself to the woman, "that you have
endangered yourself by bringing me here ?"
"I will tell you. See," she said, softly, and
almost choked with grief, at the same time lift-
ing the cloth which covered the dear child. Dr.
Judson looked, and on his bosom lay a copy of
the gospel of St. Matthew.
He placed it there with his own dear hand.
Amai! amai, ai!" and her voice was again lost
in an outburst of grief. "I was," continued she,
"his mother's nurse. She got this book from you,
sir. She thought my master had burnt it; but
he kept, and may be studied it. Do you think
that he became a true believer?"
"To whom did he pray at that last moment ?"
asked Dr. Judson.
"To the Lord Jesus Christ. I am sure of
that. Do you think the Lord would receive him,
.14 THE BURMESE BOY.
"Did you ever read about the thief who was
crucified with the Saviour ?"
"Oh, yes, I read it to Moung Moung this very
day. He was holding his mother's book when
the disease smote him, and he kept it in his hand
all the time. Yes, I-remember, the Lord Jesus
Christ is just as merciful now as he was then.
He is now with Christ above. Oh, it is almost
too much to believe."
"But where," asked Dr. Judson, "did you be-
come acquainted with this religion, Wah-aa ?"
"My mistress taught me, sir, and made me
promise to teach her baby when he was old
enough; and to go to you for more instruction.
But I was alone and afraid. I sometimes got as
far as the big ban-yan tree on the corner, and
crawled away .again so trembling with terror
that I could scarcely stand on my feet. At last
I-found out Ko ''1-' *..-.1/ and he promised.to
keep my secret, and I.e gave me books, and
taught me how to pray, and I have been getting
courage ever since. I should not much mind
now, if they did find me out and kill me. It
would be very pleasant to go up to paradise. .I
think I should even like to go to-night, if the
Lord would please to take me."
And many such will come from the east and
the west, from the north and the south, and sit
down in the kingdom of that Saviour whose pre-
THE BURMESE BOY. 15
clous name has been preached to them by his
And now, what does this simple story of the
little Burmese boy, who we hope found the Sav-
iour in a heathen land, teach us?
When he heard of the Saviour's love in giving
his life for poor sinners, his little heart was filled
with love to Him in return, and to hear and to
read about Him was a constant source of delight.
He had, no doubt, many toys to please and amuse
him, for his father was a rich man, and loved
him much; but they did not hold the first place
in his heart.
You have often heard of the Lord Jesus r
who left his glory and came down to die on the
cross, that he might redeem us and open for us
the gates of heaven; but perhaps you have gone
back to your playthings and forgotten the sweet
story of his love.
Shall then this-little heathen child dwell with
the Lord, in glory for ever, and shall you, who
have been called a Christian child, and who have
so often been taught about Jesus, be cast into
outer darkness, there to perish with all those
who love their sins too well to seek for salvation
through the blood of Jesus? Oh, I pray God
it may not be so; but that every dear child who
reads this account of one, as we hope, of the lit-
tle lambs of the good Shepherd, may love the
16 THE BURMESE BOY.
Lord Jesus as he did; and when his time on
earth is passed, go up to dwell for ever in that
beautiful home which the Lord Jesps is gone to
prepare for all who come to him.
Who are they whose little feet,
Pacing life's short journey through,
Now have reached that heavenly seat
They had ever kept in view?
"I from Greenland's frozen land;"
"I from India's sultry plain;"
"I from Afric's barren sand;"
I from islands of the main.'
All our earthly journey past,
Every tear and pain gone by,
Here together met at last
At the portal of the sky,
Each the welcome 'CoME' awaits,
Conquerors over death and sin."
Lift your heads, ye golden gates,
Let the little travellers in.
BOOKS FOR THE YOUNG: 51 & 52
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