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the habits of religious life, have created in every town in Great Britain and America, a fruitful nursery for the church of Christ, and sent forth a living supply of efficient labourers to disseminate the gospel both at home and abroad. The humble attempt of the subject of this memoir, to excite the zeal of his immediate brethren, was not only effectual for the purpose and to the degree he primarily meditated; it was an impulse destined to move, ere long, the whole christian world, and to diffuse an influence which the extremities of the earth should feel, to be perpetuated to the end of time, and the final results of which the light of eternity must develope. The sympathies of every community were shortly awakened, their energies were provoked, and from the period now under review to the present, faithful brethren have been sent forth, charged on errands of mercy, to every region whither the commercial enterprise of this mighty empire has adventured her sails. The simple proposition for devoting a single hour in one evening of every month in prayer for a specific object, has united the aspirations of pious men by myriads through every section of the universal church, and, if maintained with vigour and unaffected unity of spirit, may yet prove the ordained means of bringing down from the Father of lights,' and the · Father of mercies,' those final effusions of his renewing spirit, the grand burden of prophetic and evangelical promise, unspeakably transcendent of any thing yet experienced among men, by which the wilderness shall be converted into a fruitful field;' and that wbich before was deemed fruitful, shall be esteemed a forest. It cannot be too deeply regretted that these special occasions of devotion are frequently, and in many places, very ill attended. Denominational prejudice and local collision are allowed to interrupt the harmony for the promotion of which they were at first instituted; and in some instances to suspend and altogether to dissolve it. Nor need it be disguised, that the improvement derivable from these catholic exercises is often prevented, and the comfort of them marred, by the monotony with which they are conducted, and the wearisome length to which every part of them is carried. The petitions and the phraseology are not sufficiently specific, and closely relevant to the professed object of the meeting; but are fetched promiscuously from the whole circle of devotional topics. The mind, instead of being refreshed, is wearied with the requisite attention; and, before a prayer is concluded, the half of the congregation have resumed their seats. The Wesleyan brethren, in this, as in some other parts of their practical economy, are worthy of imitation. They will engage five or six persons in praying, and sing portions of as many hymns, within the compass of an hour.
“By degrees, Mr. Carey succeeded in bringing his ministerial brethren to sympathize with him in his missionary views. Several opportunities were also offered by their periodical meetings for maturing them into some ultimate and feasible plan of operation. The first of these was at Clipston, in Northamptonshire, in the spring of 1791, when Mr. Fuller and Mr. Sutcliff preached sermons appropriate to such a design. After which sermons, Mr. Carey urged his brethren to form themselves into a Society. But they wished for time, and requested him to publish his pamphlet which they knew him to have in manuscript. A second meeting was holden at Nottingham one year afterwards, when further progress was made. It was then he preached his memorable sermon from Isa. liv. 23. This discourse ripened the convictions of his brethren that it was imperative upon them, with as little delay as possible, to organize their plan, and commence operation. The outline of this plan was offered for acceptance at Kettering, in October of the same year, when a committee was formed, and the first-fruits of its benevolence were offered to advance the institution which their piety and zeal originated. This contribution amounted to thirteen pounds two shillings and sixpence. At a fourth meeting, which took place shortly after at Northampton, further deliberations were entered into, and Mr. Pearce, of Birmingham, was added to the original committee. Thus a simple machinery was formed and set in motion, which led the way in that mighty career of christian benevolence for which the present generation stands distinguished beyond all precedent. At the Kettering meeting, just referred to, Mr. Carey had signified
his willingness to become the first to adventure himself in the enterprise, and was accepted."-pp. 58 -- 63.
At the commencement of the second chapter, the editor states and combats some of the objections which were then raised, and are still sometimes produced against missionary exertions. The first of these, with the accompanying remarks, we subjoin.
“ The projectors of the Baptist Mission commenced their design amidst unusual discouragements. The reader has already seen how very slender were their resources. But this was the least of the many adverse circumstances with which they had to contend. No principal denomination had at that time entered the field. And, not having originated any plan of foreign labour themselves, it was, perhaps, more than could reasonably be expected, that they should look with unmingled complacency upon one launched by an inferior body; or that they should contribute materially to augment its funds. A long, querulous, and crabbed letter is yet extant, from a gentleman in one of the midland counties, expostulating with Mr. Fuller upon the impropriety of making such a work a denominational undertaking, and the sort of sentimental absurdity, which he discerned and felt very tenderly, of commencing labours and exhausting resources iu distant countries, while so much remained to be effected at home. Such objections, it may be, are not utterly extinct to the present day. But those who entertain them, upon the first head, would do well to ask themselves, whether they are prepared to maintain perpetual and perfect silence as to those views of truth and forms of duty which distinguish that portion of the church to which they pertain from every other? If they hesitate at this, they should cease to expect the sacrifice in others. But, suppose they willingly consent to bate whatever is peculiar to their own body, and should succeed in prevailing upon all their fellow Christians to adopt the same determination, what advantage would accrue to the world from such an achievement ? Must not some portion of truth be sacrificed, and some matter of positive obedience be neglected? Or will it be contended, that no part of the christian church either believes or practises correctly ; or, that it is a less evil, in things holden to be non-essential, absolutely and totally to neglect, than involuntarily and partially to err. It is far better for Christians to promulge the truth of Christ, according to their own conceptions, and to inculcate obedience to his authority agreeably to their own views, than to speculate upon a catholicism incompatible with their present circumstances to realize. Nor is it likely that the heathen, or those converted from amongst them, would be half so stumbled at witnessing any diversity in the external modes of christian practice, as they would at the detection of any designed neglect or concerted scheme of compromise. As the efforts of all devout persons will be regulated much more by those truths and principles which are deemed of essential and universal interest, than by any distinguishing peculiarities; so will there be unspeakably more in the general results of their labour in which to rejoice, than of denominational peculiarity against which to except. It is better to become at once auxiliary to an attempt at effecting some immediate and substantial good, made, as we suppose, with some attendant imperfection and error, than to speculate ever so sincerely upon schemes of union, or entertain ourselves and the world with mere hypotheses of agreement and coalition, until life is wasted, and our opportunities for usefulness retire. Our christian love cannot desire more appropriate or ample expression than is suggested to us in the prayer of the apostle : Grace be with all them who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.' Nor ought we to expect fellowship with other Christians upon terms different from those intimated in another passage, where our zeal and our love are solicited at once into fervent action, and chastised into forbearing tenderness. Whereunto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing: and, if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.' "--pp. 79-81.
We are afraid, in the present state of Christian knowledge and
Christian feeling, these objections are fatal to a Catholic system of missions. But shall we be deemed incorrigible visionaries if we hazard the idea, that the day may not be remote when a less ambitious comprehension may be practicable? What valid reason can be assigned why the Baptist and Pædobaptist Dissenters of Britain, having blended their churches at home, may not advance in sacred harmony to the spiritual warfare abroad? And is the preparatory step utterly Utopian? We trust, for the honour of our common Christianity, that its difficulties will be scrutinized and overcome. It has always appeared to us, that the separation of Baptists and Pædobaptists is justified by no sound principle, either of reason or of Scripture. It might have been hoped that Christians, according in all points of doctrine and of discipline, save those which regard the administration of a single religious ceremony, would have still retained the holy bond of brotherhood unbroken. Were not the differences of the first churches, with respect to Jewish rites and Gentile privileges, far more important than this? And yet where in the New Testament is the suggestion or the permission of distinct communions ? Where, indeed, are these injunctions to harmony so strict, or reprobations of schism so decided ? But it will be inquired, “ Must not some portion of truth be sacrificed, and some matter of positive obedience be neglected ?" This sacrifice and this neglect do not appear to us necessary. Why might not a minister of either sentiment, chosen by the majority of a united church, temperately discuss on suitable occasions his own views of baptism, unchecked by the presence of those whose opinions might be different, except so far as restraint might be desirable to annihilate virulence, and to inspire charity? Why might not each individual of the minority observe, in some neighbouring church, the rite of initiation according to his own convictions, as some Christians at present do, and then peaceably unite on every other point with his own community ? “But who shall calculate the amount of jealousy and bickering which such a scheme would create ?" True ; if the two sects should be instantaneously placed in juxta position; but this we are not advocating. We desire that discussion should precede union; that comprehensive and symmetrical views of scriptural truth should be apprehended by our ministers, and enforced on our churches; that open communion should be extensively practised.; that fervent and combined prayer should be offered for the effusion of the spirit of love. The societies that may have thus prepared themselves for closer intercourse need not be alarmed by the prospect of future collisions. The masses thus treated will not be rivetted together, but, under the influence of a temperature which will destroy their cohesion, fused and assimilated. And should the exclusives of either party read this suggestion with the smile of incredulity, or the complacency of superior wisdom, we will console ourselves with the recollections, that Baxter, and Mason, and Hall have done much to verify the dream, and that the mediatorial prayer of Jesus has indicated divine decrees that must virtually transform the vision to reality, and indefinitely exceed its brightest colouring. Indeed, who, in reading the life of Carey, can be surpriscd at the indifferent or the
scornful reception of the most scriptural and practicable schemes ? Who, with his experience fresh in the memory, can feel either discouraged or depressed ? No! the day must come when the church shall be consecrated to its high office by that heavenly oil of Chris. tian unity, the fragrance of which shall pervade every land, overpowering the incense of every idol fane, and stimulating to new existence an expiring world.
The difficulties, domestic, commercial, and political, under which the voyage of the first Baptist missionaries was commenced, were snfficient to have damped any common ardour. These are grapbically detailed in the following letter from Mr. Thomas, who had previously visited India, as a medical practitioner.
“ • You remember what I told you at Kettering of my being in debt, though having sent home muslins, camphor, &c., to the amount of 18,000 rupees, which sold, when the market was very low, for little more than £1,100. This was distributed among my creditors as far as it would go, and this was £500 short of their demand. I entertained some hopes of a computation with my creditors when I saw you, by paying them a sum, which I found afterwards I was not able to raise. Having nothing to offer by way of payment, I neglected waiting on them, till they came after me. I then told them all the truth; appealed to my own experience, testifying my intention of paying them, but now I was very poor. Still, as they saw me bent on an expensive voyage, they could not believe this. I had a secret hope that money would come from some quarter or other, just to help us over the sea, through the kind providence of God, but had no assurance or possession of money, yet was as fully bent on going as if I had. My creditors could not see through all this, and suspected my integrity. They began to hunt, and I to flee as a partridge, yet still continuing to preach publicly wherever I was asked. Every day I had fears without that I should be arrested, and hopes within that I should escape: till at length the happy day was come when I was relieved by a chain of providences, and embarked with my family and my fellowlabourer on board the Earl of Oxford. We sailed off with great joy to the Motherbank : but here we were detained longer by many weeks than we expected. Matters being left in London not quite so well settled as I could wish, I returned to that city by land; and I had not been gone many hours, before one of my creditors called at my lodging in the Isle of Wight, with a writ and bailiff, to arrest me for £100 or less. Mr. Carey and my wife were in great apprehension and fear for me, and I trembled to think of my situation. But, of his own accord, the man dropped the pursuit, after several menaces to the contrary : the time of sailing drew very near, and I ventured to join my family.
“We were in expectation of sailing within four days, when the purser of the ship came to inform us, that the captain had received an anonymous letter from the India House, saying that a person was going out in his ship without the Company's leave, and information would be lodged against him, if the person alluded to proceeded on the voyage; and that in consequence of this letter the captain could not think of taking brother Carey or me, suspecting it to mean one of us. Our distress on this occasion was very great. I went up to London to search for the author of this letter, hoping to satisfy the captain 'twas neither of us meant. I took the letter with me; but finding all inquiries vain, I returned to Portsmouth. There I met brother Carey in tears, telling me the captain was now fully determined to take neither of us; and the season grew so late we had little hopes of any other ship, but consoled ourselves with some broken hopes of going by land. In the midst of these dark and gloomy circumstances, we could not help wondering to find Mrs. Thomas, who had with much difficulty been persuaded to come at all, deter
mined now to go without us, with her child, upon the hope of our following soon after.
“ The next day, Mr. Carey got all his baggage out of the ship, and, with a heart heavier than all, came away with me. That which would have made us leap for joy before, added to our grief pow, viz., to see all the ships get under weigh and sail off : at the same instant, we, leaving our baggage at Portsmouth, returned to London. Carey was for asking leave of the Company now; but they had just set their wicked faces against a mission to the East Indies, by sending some of their ablest advocates for total darkness to plead against all missionaries in the Commons of Great Britain. While Carey wrote to his wife, I would go to a coffee-house, with eager desire to know whether any Swedish or Danish ship was expected to sail from Europe to Bengal, or any part of the East Indies this season ; when, to the great joy of a bruised heart, the waiter put a card into my hand, whereon were written these lifegiving words: 'A Danish East Indiamun, No. 10, Cannon Street.' No more tears that night. Our courage revived; we fled to No. 10, Cannon Street, and found it was the office of Smith and Co. Agents; that Mr. Smith was a brother of the captain's, and lived in Gower Street; that this ship had sailed, as he supposed, from Copenhagen ; was hourly expected in Dover roads; would make no stay there; and the terms were £100 for a passenger, £50 for a child, £25 for an attendant. 'We went away wishing for money. Carey had £150 returned from the Oxford : this was not half sufficient for all, and we were not willing to part. Besides, our baggage was still at Portsmouth; and Carey had written to Mrs. Carey that he was coming to see her; and also he entertained some faint hopes that she might now join us, if she could be so persuaded, for she had lain in only three weeks : but the shortest way of accomplishing all this would take up so much time, that we feared we should be too late for the ship. That night, therefore, we set off, and breakfasted with Mrs. Carey next morning. She refused to go with us, which gave Mr. Carey much grief. I reasoned with her a long time to no purpose. I had entreated the Lord in prayer to make known his will, and not to suffer either of us to fight against him, by persuading her to go on the one hand, or stay on the other. This expression moved her, but her determination not to go was apparently fixed. We now set off to Mr. Ryland, of Northampton, to ask for money; and on our way thither I found Mr. Carey's hope of his wife all gone. I proposed to go back once more; but he overruled it, saying it was of no use. At last I said, . I will go back. - Well, do as you think proper,' said he; but I think we are losing time. I went back, and told Mrs. Carey her going out with us was a matter of such importance, I could not leave her so-her family would be dispersed and divided for ever-she would repent of it as long as she lived. As she tells me since, this last saying, frequently repeated, had such an effect upon her, that she was afraid to stay at home; and afterward, in a few minutes, determined to go, trusting in the Lord: but this should be on condition of her sister going with her. This was agreed to. We now set off for Northampton like two different men ; our steps so much quicker, our hearts so much lighter.
"'The counting of the cost, however, was still enough to damp all our hopes. No less than eight persons' passage to be paid for, besides the necessaries to be bought for fitting all out for so lony a voyage, would require £700 at least! Mr. Ryland gave us to understand, that there was not so much in hand by far: but what there was he was beart-willing should go, and faith gave credit for the rest. So within the space of twenty-four hours, the whole family packed up, and left all, and were in two post-chaises on their way to London, where we were authorized to take up money if we could. Dear Mr. Booth, Thomas, and Rippon helped us with their whole might; while I went to bargain with the captain's agent. I rejoiced to hear him say that the ship was not arrived. I told him that, in hopes of being time enough, I had been down to Northampton, and brought up a large family to go in the ship. He was struck with the dispatch that had been made; and I continued to say, that their finances were