« ZurückWeiter »
his circumstances by the change ; but, tempt to convey the Gospel message of what was more to him, getting among salvation to some part of the heathen good libraries and cultivated men. As world.” A Society was formed, and a his ample intellect laid in stores of know- collection made, amounting to thirteen ledge, the internal fire turned all to mis- pounds, troo shillings, and sixpence : and sionary fuel. He was one of those grand so the Baptist Missionary Society was enthusiasts who can wait, be foiled, and brought into existence. give due place to a thousand ideas beside Mr. Marshman does not say, but we the ruling one, yet never lose sight of the gather, that the money was contributed work resolved upon as that of their lives. by the ministers themselves. If SO,
The meeting of Baptist ministers in sembled the first collection made for MeNottingham, at the end of May, 1792, thodist missions twenty-three years bemust ever be noted in the Church history fore, in Leeds, by John Wesley and his of India, and illustrious in that of the Bap- poor itinerants alone; and thus the funds tist denomination. The pastor of the of two considerable missionary societies Church at Leicester was appointed to took their origin in the offerings of preachpreach. The fire which had burned under ers of the Gospel, very poor, but rich in the constant musing of five years, to which faith. But the early struggles of the misbooks of travel, and maps, and histories sion cause among the Baptist Churches had been daily fuel, prophecies and pre- were carried on under discouragements cepts oil, and the discouragement of sage unknown in the kindred body. The patand good men but covering that sent it ronage of the Kettering meeting was not deeper, had leave to burst out at last. that of the Conference, and the unknown The pinch of want, the wear of labor, the Mr. Carey was not an Oxford doctor of keen sorrow of inability to give a good laws, with great influence and liberal for. cause an influential advocacy, had all tune. Yet, while Dr. Coke's wonderful wrought deeply on the soul of Carey in success rendered a society unnecessary his long training. The pent-up feelings till his death, Carey's want of fortune or of five years, pregnant fountains of the influence turned to account in making it events of many centuries, burst out upon necessary to form a Society at once. The the assembled ministers and congregation moment the deed was done, his longas if a geyser had sprung at their feet. bound soul felt free. The thirteen pounds Dr. Ryland said he should not have won were no sooner in hand, than he declared dered had the people “ lifted up their himself ready to go to any part of the voice and wept.” The burden of that world." His mind,” says Mr. Marshman, ever-memorable sermon was :
was imbued with that irresistible enthu1. Expect great things from God. siasm to which great enterprises owe 2. Attempt great things for God. their origin ; and, notwithstanding the
Even after this, when the ministers ridiculous contrast between the resources came to deliberate, the idea of doing any obtained and the magnitude of the enterthing cooled down before the difficulties. prise, he was eager to enter upon it at When they were about to separate, Carey once." seized the hand of Fuller, and cried in an In all London the provincial ministers agony: “Are you going away without who had originated this great work could doing any thing ?” That was the birth- find only one minister of their body to pang of the Baptist Missionary Society. countenance them. " There was little or They resolved: “That a plan be prepared no respectability among us,” said Mr. against the next ministers' meeting at Fuller; “not so much as a squire to sit Kettering, for the establishment of a So- in the chair, or an orator to address him.” ciety for Propagating the Gospel among But they were doing a work which made the Heathen.”
them greater than squires, orators, or the At Kettering they met in the parlor of decent doctors who frowned upon their Mrs. Wallis. After difficulties had again zeal. The mission was to be. arisen, and again been vanquished by “Mr. But what country should be chosen as Carey's arguments and the irresistible in- its field ? A letter came from Bengal, fluence of his great mind, the ministers written by a Mr. Thomas, asking for subpresent were prevailed upon to pledge scriptions towards spreading the Gospel themselves in a solemn vow to God and there. He was a flighty ship's surgeon; to each other, to make, at the least, an at- one of those creatures who live in the tor
VOL. XLIX.--No. 1,
rid zone which skirts the region of insan- | them would carry such combustibles as ity, full of great plans and noble zeal-of Christian missionaries. A director bad crotchets, tempers, and talent. Yet this said that he would rather see a band of was the instrument used by Providence devils land in India than a band of misto open the Gospel commission among the sionaries. Thomas persuaded the captain Bengalees in their own tongue, and to of his own former ship to smuggle them turn to their shores the firm and well out, by taking them secretly aboard at the considered steps of Carey. He had landed Isle of Wight. There they went before at Calcutta, and found the only sign of her arrival ; and Carey patiently waited Christianity to be the hoisting of the flag for a clandestine passage, with a companion on Sunday. He advertised “ for a Christ- wh was constantly dogged by bailiffs
, and ian.” He also published in the papers a his family left behind. At last they were plan" for spreading the knowledge of on board, and hope opened for a moment. Jesus Christ and his glorious Gospel in But alas ! the captain at the same time and around Bengal.” This brought him had an anonymous letter, telling him the only two communications, and nothing consequences of secretly carrying objecresulted. On a second visit he found a tionable persons to India. They were put patron in one whose name is dear to every ashore, and much of their passage money friend of India. Charles Grant, in an age sacrificed—that precious money, bought of general skepticism and wild immora- with Carey's labors and Fuller's tears; ay, lity, almost alone among high officials tears; for, like Dr. Coke, he went from door avowed and adorned the Gospel of Christ. to door to beg for the heathen; and, when He forefelt the sense of responsibility as rebuffed by religious men in this cold, to India, which was afterwards to rest brick London of ours, he sometimes went upon the minds of Christians generally; into a by-street, and opened his full heart and, even with an unsteady though zeal with weeping. ous agent like Thomas, nobly gave of his From Portsmouth Carey saw the fleet fortune for missionary purposes. Under of Indiamen set sail for the land where his auspices the latter spent three years his faith would be, and he shed bitter tears. laboring among the natives; but he They came to London. Men of Thomas's quarreled with his best friends and came cast, with a cracked and porous intellect, home.
like cork, never sink. He bustled about He arrived in time to lay his plans till a Danish Indiaman was found. He before the infant Society. It adopted plagued Mrs. Carey till she consented to him as its missionary, and appointed Carey go. He took passages for himself and her to accompany him. This was done in a sister, who accompanied her, as servants, committee at which Carey was present, that the cost might not exceed the funds. doubtless blessing in his heart the wonder- On the thirteenth of June, 1793, the party ful man who was the instrument of point- embarked, and on the eleventh of Noveming out to him whither he was to go in ber the soil of Bengal was first pressed his long-sought work. Mr. Thomas was by the man whose name will shine on the unexpectedly announced. Carey sprang first pages of its Christian history. up, rushed into his arms, and they wept They had no money and no letter of on each other's necks.
credit. Their all was some goods, which Carey had reached the point at which worthy Mr. Thomas sold. He lived well he had steadily aimed for years; but, while the money lasted. Carey, after alas! he was not past his trials yet. His various troubles, was indebted for shelter wife would not hear of being dragged to a generous native, whom, twenty years with her four children to India. Either after, when their lots had changed, he loneliness, or a retreat, was forced upon was enabled to place “in a situation of him. With a sore heart he said: “I could ease and comfort.” not turn back without guilt upon my soul.” His colleague was living in luxury, while The comfort he did not find in his family, Carey was struggling in a foreign land, he sought in vain from his colleague. He “ with a large family, and without a friend was deeply in debt, and hunted by credi- or a farthing." He wandered about, entors. Then, as to a passage ? the great deavoring, with an interpreter, to explain question with every intending voyager. the Gospel, and returned to his hovel to No ships but those of the East-India encounter a wife and sister-in-law full of Company sailed to India; and none of bitterness and reproaches. What was he
to do? how and where can he find bread? | heart nor head, and at those studies and Along the shore of the Bay of Bengal is sacred labors for which he had such a a vast flat region of deadly jungle, inhab- heart and head as were hardly ever given ited by wild beasts, called the Sunder- to another man. He preached to his bunds. Here woodcutters resorted; and work - people constantly, and itinerated small patches were cleared for the manu- when he could. He had a taste and power facture of salt. Something possessed for one secular pursuit, and only oneCarey, in his distress, with the idea that horticulture. He loved plants and flowers; he could live by his labor here, and preach and, whether at Moulton or Serampore, at the same time. After miserable failures cultivated them ardently. He set up, in endeavoring to get money enough to while a factory manager, as an improver convey him from Calcutta, at last he reach of agriculture; and sent for implements ed a spot where more than twenty people from England. had been carried off by tigers in a few But he was sowing wonderful seeds in days. He and his large family were wel. England, while thus cultivating indigo at comed to the house of a European whom the unheard-of village of Mudnabatty. Dr. he had found. After a while he settled Ryland, in Bristol, received letters from on a tract cleared from the jungle, and Carey, and, knowing that Dr. Bogue and began to build a hut. His gun was his Mr. Stephen were then in the city, sent chief means of daily bread. Providence for them to hear the missionary news. saved him from the fever, and permitted When they were finished, they knelt him to show that no weight of poverty, down together, and prayed for a blessing trouble, and hindrance will break down a on the distant evangelists. Strange and real instrument of God's good will toward wondrous then was a missionary's tale, men.
though to-day happily familiar to our ears. Thomas, who had been so often his The two Independents retired to speak of plague, was again to open his way. He forming a Society in their own denominahad renewed an old friendship, lost by his tion.
The London Missionary Society eccentricities, and obtained a situation as was the result: a noble plant sown by manager of an indigo factory. His excel- Carey's pen in the soil of that England lent friend and employer, Mr. Udny, had which he had left forever. another; and for it he recommended his Carey had already had trials in most forlorn and long - forgotten companion forms, and new ones arrived in the person in the Sunderbunds. This called Carey of a colleague hot with politics, who from starvation in a wilderness to a mode- abused every authority in India and Engrate income at the head of a large estab- land. He was splendidly rebuked by Anlishment of natives, to whom he could drew Fuller, with hearty English feeling preach the Gospel.
Gospel. He at once wrote and strong English language; but this home to the Society, saying that he no could not save the missionary from the longer needed to be paid from their funds, plague of a political colleague. Then his and requesting that what they would con- temporal prospects began to lower. The sider as his salary should go to print the factory was not prosperous. The neighNew Testament in Bengalee. " At the borhood was ill chosen, and the manager same time,” says this true-hearted mis- not well. He formed a plan for a missionsionary, it will be my glory and joy to ary settlement of seven or eight families, stand in the same relation to the Society living in little straw houses, and having as if I needed support from them.” Of all things in common: the details of which his salary he devoted a fourth, and some- show that though he had been years in times a third, to the purposes of his mis- the country, he had no idea of how to sion. “His time was systematically ap- arrange every-day affairs. portioned to the management of the fac But there was a matter which he untory, the study of the language, the trans- derstood. God's holy word was ready lation of the New Testament, and ad- for printing in Bengalee. He obtained dresses to the heathen.” He was pros- types. A wooden press was presented to trated by fever; one of his children was the mission by Mr. Udny; and as it carried off by dysentery, and his wife's began to work at Mudnabatty, the natives reason 'fled, never to return. Still the of India, like those of Fiji in later days, servant of God worked on, worked at declared that it was a god. He wrote that secular duty for which he had neither home for a press and paper, adding: “If
a serious printer could be found willing to writings had twice the distinction of engage in the mission, he would be a great being prosecuted by the state, and blessing. Such a printer I knew at Derby defended by Erskine. At Hull a relibefore I left England.”
gious change passed upon him. He The factory was broken up, and he took joined the Baptists, devoted himself to one on his own account at Kidderpore. the ministry, went to a college, and so Meantime Mr. Thomas had gone round completely broke with politics that for a circle of occupations, always the same ten years after he had been at Serampore, queer being, but always a clever doctor he did not even take in a paper. and a zealous preacher. Carey, steady as It was with great excitement he jumped a rock, yet acute as a needle, learned and from his boat, and walked from the river labored and did good incessantly. “I to the house of the man whose influence preach every day to the natives, and had attracted him from the heart of Eng. twice on the Lord's day constantly, besides land to the flats of Bengal. He met other itinerant labors;" yes, and besides Carey with an outburst of affection, and ponderous labors in study and translation. exclaimed: “Blessed be od, he is a And this while in secular employment !
young man yet!” A letter followed him For five years and more had he followed from Serampore, showing that the Comhis labors uncheered by success, tried at pany's servants were becoming even more home, and tried by colleagues. At length threatening; and therefore Carey was a letter announced the arrival of four forced to abandon his own plans, and come yoke-fellows; but they were forbidden down to head his brethren on the one English territory, and had sheltered under sheltered field where they might labor. the Danish flag. The little settlement of At Serampore he found three brethren, Serampore, across the river from the of whom two were soon to rest from their Governor-General's country house, a few labors, and the third was Joshua Marshmiles from Calcutta, had happily remained man, whose name and reputation were to under Denmark. A Danish ship carried take a place beside his own, and out Carey out, when an English one would of whose family India was to welcome the not; and now that an American one had pen of John Marshman, and the sword of brought him colleagues, Danish authorities Havelock. He had been a prodigy-boy defended them. The powers at Calcutta quite as much as Carey; one of those were disposed to take offense; but brave greedy and vigorous minds, that gulp Governor Bie was staunch in his little down knowledge of every kind, and digest possession, and his firmness made his flag it into good brain-blood, in spite of all and his guests respected. For that deed, probabilities to the contrary. His early the name of Colonel Bie will never cease history, as sketched by his son, is a touchto be mentioned while the Gospel is ing piece of biography. He had a Hug. preached in India.
uenot, as Ward had a Methodist mother. Carey wrote urging his brethren to join He grew up among devout Baptists at him in the interior. But he was there as Westbury Leigh. The powers of the an indigo planter: they had avowed Church were Farmer Bachelor, and other themselves missionaries, and dared not in three deacons, who met weekly, and ruled that character settle on the territory of strictly. Young Marshman was steady, the East-India Company. One of them, serious, and in all lore more learned than protected by a Danish passport, set out ten dozen of the deacons, especially in to persuade Carey to come and settle in Puritan divinity. But church government Serampore.
is church government, and here is the This was no other than that very printer style in which it was administered by the whom Carey had mentioned as having excellent four. seen him at Derby, wben, in his letter home, he had said how useful “a serious “They maintained that as a work of grace, printer would be.” William Ward had once begun in the heart, could never become never forgotten the words Carey spoke to extinct, it was more advisable to postpone the him, on a walk, before he started for admission to church fellowship even of those India. He had become a popular news
who might appear to be sincere, than to admit
one unconverted person into the fold. paper editor, first in his native town,
“When Mr. Marshman sought admission into then in Hull; had imbibed republican the Church, Farmer Bachelor and the other principles, and advocated them till his deacons remarked that he had too much .head
knowledge of Christianity to have much | Yet the first-fruit gathered was to be partheart knowledge of its truths. They kept ly of his planting. On the very day that him, therefore, in a state of probation for seven his inquirer bad rejoiced his heart by tellyears, and he eventually left Westbury Leigh ing the “Church” at Serampore of his rewithout having been baptized.”—Vol. i. pp. ligious experience, he had to set a native's 105–6.
arm. He preached to him till he wept. Happily, in Bristol, where he conducted Nor were his tears feigned, or from trana school, the door of the Church was not sient feeling. Mr. Thomas was in a few so very low, but that even men with heads weeks summoned to take part in the bapon their shoulders could get in. There tism of Krishnu, with his brother, wife, he was the means of converting a Mr. and daughter. He came. He saw the Grant from infidelity; and there at last wonderful sight of these Hindus sitting he offered his services for the Indian Mis- down to the table of the missionaries, and sion; and in three weeks from that day thereby renouncing their caste. This step was sailing down the Channel.
raised the mob, who dragged the converts At Serampore the missionaries found before the magistrate; but he sensibly the governor and authorities among their commended Krishnu and his brother, and best friends. In Calcutta they had on ordered the mob to disperse.
The contheir side two chaplains-David Brown, verts were brought before the Church to a noble Yorkshireman, who long and well state the way in which they had been bore witness for his Master amid fearful led to embrace the religion of Christ. ungodliness, and Claudius Buchanan, Poor Thomas, who now saw his long lawhose name is better known in England. bors of many years repaid, was overcome. The British Government were persuaded Heavy weights of sorrow had not overby them that the missionaries did not turned his ill-balanced mind; but as he
harm. The state of religious heard these first Hindu converts tell how information in Calcutta may be judged of the grace of God had led them, his reason from the fact that a newspaper editor, gave way under excess of joy. The mob taking it for granted that the unknown once dismissed by the magistrate returned, word “ Baptist” must be a mistake, an- accusing the convert Krishnu of having nounced that four Papist missionaries refused to give his daughter to the man had arrived.
to whom she was betrothed. But the The missionaries, according to a plan feeble Danes showed a moral courage of Mr. Carey, agreed to live together as which, after all these years, is not always one family. They were to dine at one displayed by British magistrates, as wittable, to place all their income in a com ness the Royapettah riot at Madras. The mon fund, by whomsoever earned, and to rioters were dismissed, the girl was asallow each family a certain sum for “per- sured of liberty of action, and a voluntary sonal expenses. This was a plan con- offer of protection was made to the misceived in a fine spirit, but not fitted for sionaries for the public administration of permanent working. No Missionary So- baptism. ciety then laboring in India had adopted The scene of the baptism was on steps the rule, which served the Methodists so leading down to the river, before the much from the first, that men were not to Mission premises. The Governor, the engage in secular pursuits. The devoted Europeans, and a vast crowd of natives at Serampore had their own efforts to assembled. Carey walked forward with look to for the chief part of their expenses. two candidates — his own son and the Yet, as Mr. Marshman shows, those who Hindu Krishnu on either hand. The other did little in the way of money were will converts had quailed at the last hour. As ing to do much in that of control, and he advanced from the mission house, poor could give strong opinions even upon the Thomas was raving wild in a room on cost of Mrs. Ward's bonnet.
one side of the path, and his own wife Poor Mr. Thomas, as fervent and way hopelessly wailing on the other; as if ward as ever, was away in the interior the spirit of darkness had permission to manufacturing sugar, and preaching the rage at the first triumphs of Christianity Gospel. He came with a hopeful inquirer among the natives of Bengal. Down to to Serampore in a great excitement of joy; the water went the Baptist preacher and but when, after his return, his disciple dis- his two cipl the one the son of his appeared, he became as much depressed. I own heart, the other the first-fruits of a