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               Sonya Contreras

Expect Great Things from God. Attempt Great Things For God.

William Carey, known as the “father of modern missions,” lived a full life.
Possessing a natural gift for language, he taught himself Latin as a child.

While apprenticed to a local cobbler, he learned of the Dissenters, who challenged the Church of England’s doctrine. He became converted and an active supporter.
Borrowing a Greek grammar book, he taught himself New Testament Greek.

He married Dorothy Plackett.

When his master died, William acquired the cobbler’s business. A cobbler’s life brought poverty.
During those years of making shoes, he taught himself Hebrew, Italian, Dutch and French.

He was appointed schoolmaster for another village and served as assistant pastor.
At a ministers’ meeting in 1781, Carey challenged the Christian thinking of the time stating the Christians’ duty was to spread the Gospel throughout the world.
John Collett Ryland, a leader at the time, retorted: “Young man, sit down; when God pleases to convert the heathen, He will do it without your aid and mine.”

By 1792, Carey had written his missionary manifesto, An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens. This book justified missionary activity on the basis of the Great Commission, retelling the missionary history from the early church to David Brainerd and John Wesley. He compiled tables and statistics of populations and religions for the world. He answered his critics objections to sending missionaries: learning the language and danger to life. In the final book’s chapters, he constructed a Baptist denomination missionary society with practical means of its support.

Preaching from Isaiah 54:2-3, his missionary sermon, Carey used his now famous epigram
“EXPECT GREAT THINGS FROM GOD. ATTEMPT GREAT THINGS FOR GOD.”

By 1792, he and his colleagues had founded the Baptist Missionary Society World Mission.
Carey applied his mission’s sermon. He would go to India, accompanying a medical missionary.
Dorothy, his wife, was expecting their fourth son, had already lost two daughters in infancy and resisted going with him.
John Thomas, the missionary doctor, coerced Dorothy to come, eliminating William’s need to later return to England for his family.

Missionary work was illegal under the British-controlled areas.
When they moved to another area of India, controlled by the Danish, William preached legally.

He joined William Ward, a printer. William translated and printed the Bible, in whole or in parts into 44 languages and dialects.
Carey founded the Serampore Mission Press, the only press credited who “thought it important enough that costly fonts of type be cast for the irregular and neglected languages of the Indian people.” William printed textbooks, dictionaries, and literature to serve the primary and college-level children and general public.
Carey’s work on the printing press standardized Bengali. A total of 212,000 items came off the presses in 30 years in 44 different languages. He focused on Bible translation and printing.
With such progress, England critics charged them with fraudulent reporting their accomplishments in Bible translations.
The church historian John Foster said. “During the first eighteen centuries of Christian history, the Bible was rendered into some thirty languages and then, in the first third of the 19th century, by the work of Carey and his co-workers in Calcutta and Serampore, that number was doubled.”

Carey started a Sunday School to teach children how to read the Bible.
He opened, at his own expense, the first primary school in India, which included girls, in a time educating the female was unthinkable.
By teaching India’s culture, he contributed to the birth of Indian Nationalism.

Carey’s formative books helped found the Baptist Missionary Society. Today it supports more than 350 missionaries in 40 countries.

Striving to reach India with the Gospel, he fought social issues in India, including infant sacrifice and suttee, widow burning (sati) and assisted suicide. The ban of sati elevated women’s status in Indian society.
Carey worked against the mistreatment of lepers, motivated after seeing a leper burned to death.

Carey formed the Formation of an Agricultural and Horticultural Society in India He introduced new drainage procedures, better crop rotation, and fertilizing.

Carey overcame obstacles most of us would be stopped by. He entered India when missionaries weren’t allowed. He withstood poverty and suffering most of us would never experience.  He became a professor in a government college as a nonconformist without a college education.

His mission could count only 700 converts from India’s millions, but he laid the foundation for Bible translations, education and social reforms.

William never left India, even for furlough. He lived there for 41 years.

Carey’s great passion, never wavering over the years, was to reach the heathen with the gospel of Jesus Christ. His greatest legacy was inspiring the worldwide missionary movement of the nineteenth century. He laid the foundation for future missionaries like David Livingstone, Hudson Tayler, Adoniram Judson, among thousands of others with his saying, “EXPECT GREAT THINGS FROM GOD. ATTEMPT GREAT THINGS FOR GOD.”

But William Carey did not excel at everything, as we will see next week, when we meet Dorothy Carey, his wife.

 

https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues/issue-36/dorothys-devastating-delusions.html
https://lexioiz.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/dorothy-carey-and-the-cost-of-mission/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Carey_(missionary)
https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/missionaries/william-carey.html
Beck, James R. Dorothy Carey: The Tragic and Untold Story of Mrs. William Carey. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1992.

What things do you expect from God?
What things do you attempt for God?
 

Makes me want to read more about Carey. I've read about him long ago, but want to do so again. Thanks for sharing. Now I'll read the second half!

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