In Loving Memory of Emily Chubbuck, er, “Fanny Forester”


It may be true that to take care of self is the first law of nature.
But to deny one’s self is one of the first lessons of grace.

An unsung Christian hero…

…by the name of Emily Chubbuck, who the world knows today as Fanny Forester, was born in the US to some very poor parents in the year, 1817. However, she grew up to be a young woman of taste and genius, who burst into sudden and great celebrity as a brilliant writer in the periodical literature of the day under the pen name of Fanny Forester.

After a childhood of constant and oppressive struggle, she found herself at length as an object of admiration and envy throughout the country. The world was all before her; she had the world by the tail. Indeed, Fanny Forester’s troubles were over and her fortune made; she has reached the literary throne at last, and could now sit as a queen in the highest circles of American society.

But the fashionable world of American glitterati had no sooner recognized and accepted their favorite than rumors began to spread, muffled at first, but later breaking out in clear tones and distinct articulation, that their chosen heroine had consented to become the wife of Adoniram Judson, a Baptist missionary, now far advanced in life, and to plunge with him into the darkest heart of heathendom, there to burn her life-lamp down to the socket, learning a barbarous language, taming a cruel race, and contending with a pestilential climate, all that she might make known the love of Jesus to an uncivilized and idolatrous nation. To Burma she went, and there bore her Savior’s will till life could hold out no longer, and then she came home to die.

“The woman is mad!” –rang from end to end of America echoing and re-echoing through the marts of trade and the Salons of fashion , –“The woman is mad!” But Fanny Forester herself taught the word God beside her husband. Like the liberated Hebrews in the wilderness who had consecrated what they borrowed from the Egyptians to the service of the Lord. Fanny wrote and published an essay on “The Madness of the Missionary Enterprise,” in which she effectively turned the money-making and pleasure-loving world of her own people upside down.

The missionary cleared herself and her cause, and in doing so, left the imputation of mad man lying on the other side with the world.