Judson was a learned man. He graduated valedictorian of his class from Brown and went onto Andover Theological Seminary where he was converted. He wrote two textbooks, one on grammar and one on Mathematics. On the boat to India as America’s first foreign missionary he was contemplating who to baptize when people were converted. After much reading he came to the conclusion that the NT taught that it should be only those who have repented and expressed faith in Jesus Christ. I get a kick out of how he continually does not want to be one of those Baptists. He expressed his dilemma in this way in a letter to his church. Not much has changed in how Baptists are viewed (yet they are still around) and we can all admire his heart even if you think he does not have sense enough to comprehend the connection:
“I cannot describe to you, dear brethren, the light of satisfaction, which I obtained, in taking this view of the matter, in considering the two churches distinct, and in classing my ideas of each in their proper place. I became possessed of a key that unlocked many a difficulty, which had long perplexed me. And the more I read the Bible, the more clearly I saw, that this was the true system therein revealed.
But while I obtained light and satisfaction on one side, I was plunged into difficult and distress on the other. If, thought I, this system is the true one, if the Christian church is not a continuation of the Jewish, if the covenant of circumcision is not precisely the covenant in which Christians now stand, the whole foundation of Paedobaptism is gone; there is no remaining ground of the administration of any church ordinance, to the children and domestics of professors; and it follows inevitably, that I who was christened in infancy, on the faith of my parents, have never yet received Christian baptism. Must I, then, forsake my parents, the church with which I stand connected, the society under whose patronage I have come out, the companions of my missionary undertaking? Must I forfeit the good opinion of all my friends in my native land, occasioning grief to some, and provoking others to anger, and be regarded henceforth, by all my former dear acquaintance, as a weak, despicable Baptist, who has not sense enough to comprehend the connection between the Abrahamic and the Christian systems? All this was mortifying; it was hard to flesh and blood. But I thought again – It is better to be guided by the opinion of Christ, who is the truth, than by the opinion of men, however good, whom I know to be in an error. The praise of Christ is better than the praise of men. Let me cleave to Christ at all events, and prefer his favor above my chief joy.”