WILLIAM CAREY

Who was the greatest missionary to India, was born in England, on August 17, 1761.

At an early age he developed a thirst for knowledge; by age twelve he owned a small library. He liked to read everything, except the scriptures, but his grandmother obligated him to learn them.

Carey began training as a shoemaker at the age of sixteen, under one Clark Nicholas, a religious man, who engaged him in religious discussions in the shop.  During his apprenticeship he was exposed as a liar and a thief, which thing brought him much shame, reproach and inner remorse.

At the age of eighteen this one time hater of dissenters, became himself a dissenter from the Church of England.  He did this after hearing a sermon from Chater of Olney.  He joined with the followers of William Law.  Later he formed a church at Hackleton, with some of his fellow-apprentices.

He was twenty, when he married Dolly Placket: she suffered from a mental disease, and was very hostile to his missionary endeavors.  For twenty years she brought only discouragement and sorrow to him.

William Carey became a preacher at Moulton Village.  Here he became bald due to a disease, and wore a wig until he departed from England.

During this time he suffered extreme poverty.  Sometimes he fasted all day long, because he didn't have a penny to buy dinner.  He had to peddle shoes in order to buy his ministerial clothing.

He was a teacher by day, made shoes by night, and preached on church days.

Poverty did not diminish his love for learning.  During this time, he taught himself Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, and Dutch.

He deeply impressed his fellow preachers with his love for the heathen.  In spite of opposition from Hyper-Calvinists he organized a missionary society, and became its first missionary.

He departed from England in 1793 and settled in Northern Bengal.  His first year was one of deprivation and misery, which only ended when he was put in charge of an Indigo factory.  From then on he declined to accept financial help from the society.

In Serampore he established a missionary station, which became the hub of his activities, and a springboard for missionaries.

Carey translated the whole Bible into the Bengalese, Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Ooriya, and Assamese.  He also did partial translations in thirty six other languages.

He composed dictionaries and grammars for many Indian languages; Established over a hundredth schools; one school for girls; a college; a botanical garden; and a hospital.

His incessant preaching brought about the prohibition of infanticide, voluntary drowning, widow-burning, and other evils.

He preached for seven years before he had his first convert.  But at his death on June 1834, he left 18 missions, and twenty six churches.

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