Wade, Deborah B Lapham

Wade, Deborah B. Lapham an eminent Baptist missionary, wife of Rev. Dr. Jonathan Wade, was born in Nelson, N. Y., June 10, 1801. She sailed for Burmah, the field of Christian labor to which she and her husband had been designated by the Baptist Triennial Convention, June 22, 1823, and arrived at Calcutta Oct. 19, and Rangoon Dec. 5, of the same year. Soon after they reached their station, the first Burmese war broke out, and Mr. and Mrs. Wade took up their residence in Doorgapoore, about five miles from Calcutta. Here they gave themselves to the work of studying the Burmese language and fitting themselves for the missionary labors upon which they proposed to enter whenever the providence of God should prepare the way. In 1826, the war having ended, they returned to Burmah and took up their residence at Amherst, in the month of November Mrs. Wade devoted herself for a time to the care of the infant left by the first Mrs. Judson, and on its decease she established and superintended a school for Burman girls, and performed missionary labor among the Burman women. Amherst not proving to be so hopeful a place for missionary work, Mr. and Mrs. Wade removed to Maulmain, and in 1830 to Rangoon. Subsequently they went to Mergin. In all these different stations Mrs. Wade devoted herself with great fidelity and perseverance to the work which she had undertaken. We have read of but few persons who were more thoroughly consecrated to the service of their Master, and lived as if immediately in his divine presence. She returned to the United States in 1833 on account of the ill-health of her husband. Wherever she went, her presence was an inspiration, and she was the means of arousing the deepest interest in the cause of foreign missions. She spent a year and a half in her native land, and then returned to the sphere of her labor, once more to devote herself to the service of her Lord. What she accomplished during the next fourteen years cannot be told in a sketch so brief as this. The records of the final day, alone, will disclose it. The health of her husband again broke down, and she once more went back to her native land, reaching Boston July 31, 1848, and remaining in her own country two years; as useful, perhaps, at home as she had been on foreign shores in the great work to which she had consecrated all her faculties. On July 25, 1850, she again set sail for the East, and in due time stood once more on the soil of Burmah. Her missionary labors were carried on in Maulmain and Tavoy, and continued up to within a few months of the close of her life. Some time before the end of her toils was reached, she wrote to a friend, We are old, very old, for India; and we live daily looking for the bright messenger to call us home. The dear and more and more lamented Judson once exclaimed, when near the heavenly shore, Oh, the love of Christ! What a beautiful study for eternity! And for some time past I have had views, as never before, of the length and breadth, and height and depth, of the riches of the grace of God through Christ our Savior; and often does my heart exclaim, "What a beautiful, what a sublime study for eternity!" The anticipated close of life came, and she entered the better world Oct. 5, 1868. She occupies a conspicuous place among the ablest and most devout female missionaries of modern times. See Baptist Missionary Magazine, 49, 9394. (J. C. S.)

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