Out of a Lonely Heart
1833 – Eliza G. Jones, wife of Rev. John Taylor Jones, missionaries to Burma and Siam, wrote the following from Bangkok, out of a lonely heart. “We feel that we are exiles from our native land, our beloved friends, the religious privileges we once enjoyed, and even from civilized life. Especially on the return of this day, on which we have been accustomed weekly to worship God in the assembly of his saints…When we look around on those among whom we dwell, and feel what it is to live in the midst of a ‘people of unclean lips,’ we are ready to cry with Israel’s psalmist, ‘My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord.’” Writing to her father, Rev. Henry Grew of Providence, R.I. concerning the death of their little daughter, she again shows us her heart: “I was able to throw myself into the arms of Jesus, and to enjoy the happiness of entire submission to the will of God….Life seemed but a moment, eternity a blessed reality. Heaven with all its glories was opened to the view of faith, and I exulted in the glorious anticipation of soon enjoying, with my dear child, its transporting visions; of seeing face to face that dear Savior Who died for us, and of bowing with her…in humble adoration at his feet…” [Mrs. L. H. Sigourney, Memoir of Mrs. Eliza G. Jones (Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication society, 1853), p. 22. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 492-93.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
December 25, 1821 – William Ashmore was born in Putnam, Ohio. He graduated from Granville College and took his theological training in the Covington Theological Institution in Kentucky. In 1848 he was ordained by the Baptist church in Hamilton, Ohio, and became pastor of that church. After applying for missionary service in China, Ashmore was appointed the following year and sailed on August 17, 1850, for the field. He arrived at Hong Kong on Jan. 4, 1851, and at Bangkok on April 14. Applying himself to the language, he was soon able to work among the people and continued his labors there until 1858, when he transferred to Hong Kong. His wife’s health failed at that time and she sailed for America in May of that year, but died at sea off of the Cape of Good Hope, and was buried at sea. Two years later Ashmores ill health compelled him to return to the States. Upon recovering, he returned in 1864 to China with his second wife. They went to Kak-Chie and were successful in 1870 in teaching the indigenous policy that he had developed. He held that the primary need was not for “mission stations” and “professional missionaries,” such as professors and writers, but for evangelists and church planters. Two national missionaries were sent out to be supported by the funds raised in the church that Dr. Ashmore led. That church with 142 members, paid almost all the expenses of their own two countrymen. The poor heath of Mrs. Ashmore caused them to return to America in 1875, but they went back in 1877. They were delighted to find the church in good condition with growing influence. Dr. Ashmore had translated four portions of the N.T. into the language of the common people. His son, William Ashmore, Jr. continued his ministry after his death.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 539-40.