The Life of William Carey, Shoemaker & Missionary
George Smith

Part 6 out of 8

enjoyments." When Carey wrote, the millions of five-acre farmers in
India were only beginning to recover from the oppression and neglect
of former rulers and the visitation of terrific famines. Trade was
as depressed as agriculture. Transit duties, not less offensive
than those of the Chinese, continued to weigh down agricultural
industry till Lord W. Bentinck's time and later. The English
Government levied an unequal scale of duties on the staples of the
East and West Indies, against which the former petitioned in vain.
The East India Company kept the people in ignorance, and continued
to exclude the European capitalist and captain of labour. The large
native landholders were as uneducated as the cultivators. Before
all Carey set these reforms: close attention to the improvement of
land, the best method of cropping land, the introduction of new and
useful plants, the improvement of the implements of husbandry, the
improvement of live stock, the bringing of waste lands under
cultivation, the improvement of horticulture. He went on to show
that, in addition to the abundance which an improved agriculture
would diffuse throughout the country, the surplus of grain exported,
besides "her opium, her indigo, her silk, and her cotton," would
greatly tend to enrich India and endear Britain to her. "Whatever
may be thought of the Government of Mr. Hastings and those who
immediately preceded him for these last forty years, India has
certainly enjoyed such a Government as none of the provinces of the
Persian or the Roman Empire ever enjoyed for so great a length of
time in succession, and, indeed, one almost as new in the annals of
modern Europe as in those of India."

Carey found one of the greatest obstacles to agricultural progress
to be the fact that not one European owned a single foot of the
soil, "a singular fact in the history of nations," removed only
about the time of his own death. His remarks on this have a present

"It doubtless originated in a laudable care to preserve our Indian
fellow-subjects from insult and violence, which it was feared could
scarcely be done if natives of Britain, wholly unacquainted with the
laws and customs of the people, were permitted to settle
indiscriminately in India. While the wisdom of this regulation at
that time is not impugned, however, it may not be improper to
inquire whether at the present time a permission to hold landed
property, to be granted by Government to British subjects in India,
according to their own discretion, might not be of the highest
benefit to the country, and in some degree advantageous to the
Government itself.

"The objections which have been urged against any measure of this
nature are chiefly that the indiscriminate admission of Europeans
into the country might tend to alienate the minds of the inhabitants
from Britain, or possibly lead to its disruption from Britain in a
way similar to that of America. Respecting this latter
circumstance, it is certain that, in the common course of events, a
greater evil could scarcely befall India. On the continuance of her
connection with Britain is suspended her every hope relative to
improvement, security, and happiness. The moment India falls again
under the dominion of any one or any number of native princes, all
hope of mental improvement, or even of security for person or
property, will at once vanish. Nothing could be then expected but
scenes of rapine, plunder, bloodshed, and violence, till its
inhabitants were sealed over to irremediable wretchedness, without
the most distant ray of hope respecting the future. And were it
severed from Britain in any other way, the reverse felt in India
would be unspeakably great. At present all the learning, the
intelligence, the probity, the philanthropy, the weight of character
existing in Britain, are brought to bear on India. There is
scarcely an individual sustaining a part in the administration of
affairs who does not feel the weight of that tribunal formed by the
suffrages of the wise and the good in Britain, though he be
stationed in the remotest parts of India. Through the medium of a
free press the wisdom, probity, and philanthropy which pervade
Britain exercise an almost unbounded sway over every part of India,
to the incalculable advantage of its inhabitants; constituting a
triumph of virtue and wisdom thus unknown to the ancients, and which
will increase in its effects in exact proportion to the increase in
Britain of justice, generosity, and love to mankind. Let India,
however, be severed from Britain, and the weight of these is felt no

"It is a fact that in case of outrage or injury it is in most cases
easier for a native to obtain justice against a European, than for a
European to obtain redress if insulted or wronged by a native. This
circumstance, attended as it may be with some inconvenience,
reflects the highest honour on the British name; it is a fact of
which India affords almost the first instance on record in the
annals of history. Britain is nearly the first nation in whose
foreign Courts of Justice a tenderness for the native inhabitants
habitually prevails over all the partialities arising from country
and education. If there ever existed a period, therefore, in which
a European could oppress a native of India with impunity, that time
is passed away--we trust for ever. That a permission of this nature
might tend to sever India from Britain after the example of America
is of all things the most improbable...

"Long before the number of British landholders in India shall have
become considerable, Penang and the Eastern Isles, Ceylon, the Cape,
and even the Isles of New South Wales, may in European population
far exceed them in number; and unitedly, if not singly, render the
most distant step of this nature as impracticable, as it would be
ruinous, to the welfare and happiness of India...

"British-born landholders would naturally maintain all their
national attachments, for what Briton can lose them? and derive
their happiness from corresponding with the wise and good at home.
If sufficiently wealthy, they would no doubt occasionally visit
Britain, where indeed it might be expected that some of them would
reside for years together, as do the owners of estates in the West
Indies. While Britain shall remain what she now is, it will be
impossible for those who have once felt the force of British
attachments, ever to forego them. Those feelings would animate
their minds, occupy their conversation, and regulate the education
and studies of their children, who would be in general sent home
that they might there imbibe all those ideas of a moral and
intellectual nature for which our beloved country is so eminent.
Thus a new intercourse would be established between Britain and the
proprietors of land in India, highly to the advantage of both
countries. While they derived their highest happiness from the
religion, the literature, the philanthropy and public spirit of
Britain, they would, on the other hand, be able to furnish Britain
with the most accurate and ample information relative to the state
of things in a country in which the property they held there
constrained them to feel so deep an interest. The fear of all
oppression being out of the question, while it would be so evidently
the interest not only of every Briton but of every Christian,
whether British or native, to secure the protecting aid of Britain,
at least as long as two-thirds of the inhabitants of India retained
the Hindoo or Mussulman system of religion, few things would be more
likely to cement and preserve the connection between both countries
than the existence of such a class of British-born landholders in

It is profitable to read this in the light of subsequent events--of
the Duff-Bentinck reforms, the Sepoy mutiny, the government of the
Queen-Empress, the existence of more than three millions of
Christians in India, the social and commercial development due to
the non-officials from Great Britain and America, and the
administrative progress under Lord Curzon and Lord Minto.

There is one evil which Carey never ceased to point out, but which
the very perfection of our judicial procedure and the temporary
character of our land assessments have intensified--"the borrowing
system of the natives." While 12 per cent. is the so-called legal
rate of interest; it is never below 36, and frequently rises to 72
per cent. Native marriage customs, the commercial custom of
"advances," agricultural usage, and our civil procedure combine to
sink millions of the peasantry lower than they were, in this
respect, in Carey's time. For this, too, he had a remedy so far as
it was in his power to mitigate an evil which only practical
Christianity will cure. He was the first to apply in India that
system of savings banks which the Government has of late sought to

At a time when the English and even Scottish universities denied
their honorary degrees to all British subjects who were not of the
established churches, Brown University, in the United
States--Judson's--spontaneously sent Carey the diploma of Doctor of
Divinity. That was in the year 1807. In 1823 he was elected a
corresponding member of the Horticultural Society of London, a
member of the Geological Society, and a Fellow of the Linnĉan
Society. To him the latter year was ever memorable, not for such
honours which he had not sought, but for a flood of the Damoodar
river, which, overflowing its embankments and desolating the whole
country between it and the Hoogli, submerged his garden and the
mission grounds with three feet of water, swept away the botanic
treasures or buried them under sand, and destroyed his own house.
Carey was lying in bed at the time, under an apparently fatal fever
following dislocation of the hip-joint. He had lost his footing
when stepping from his boat. Surgical science was then less equal
to such a case than it is now, and for nine days he suffered agony,
which on the tenth resulted in fever. When hurriedly carried out of
his tottering house, which in a few hours was scoured away by the
rush of the torrent into a hole fifty feet deep, his first thought
was of his garden. For six months he used crutches, but long before
he could put foot to the ground he was carefully borne all over the
scene of desolation. His noble collection of exotic plants,
unmatched in Asia save in the Company's garden, was gone. His
scientific arrangement of orders and families was obliterated. It
seemed as if the fine barren sand of the mountain torrent would make
the paradise a desert for ever. The venerable botanist was wounded
in his keenest part, but he lost not an hour in issuing orders and
writing off for new supplies of specimens and seeds, which years
after made the place as lovely if not so precious, as before. He
thus wrote to Dr. Ryland:--

"SERAMPORE, 22nd December 1823.

"MY DEAR BROTHER--I once more address you from the land of the
living, a mercy which about two months ago I had no expectation of,
nor did any one expect it more than, nor perhaps so much as, myself.
On the 1st of October I went to Calcutta to preach, and returned
with another friend about midnight. When I got out of the boat
close to our own premises, my foot slipped and I fell; my friend
also fell in the same place. I however perceived that I could not
rise, nor even make the smallest effort to rise. The boatmen
carried me into the house, and laid me on a couch, and my friend,
who was a medical man, examined my hurt.--From all this affliction I
am, through mercy, nearly restored. I am still very weak, and the
injured limb is very painful. I am unable to walk two steps without
crutches; yet my strength is sensibly increasing, and Dr. Mellis,
who attended me during the illness, says he has no doubts of my
perfect recovery.

"During my confinement, in October, such a quantity of water came
down from the western hills, that it laid the whole country for
about a hundred miles in length and the same in breadth, under
water. The Ganges was filled by the flood, so as to spread far on
every side. Serampore was under water; we had three feet of water
in our garden for seven or eight days. Almost all the houses of the
natives in that vast extent of country fell; their cattle were swept
away, and the people, men, women, and children. Some gained
elevated spots, where the water still rose so high as to threaten
them with death; others climbed trees, and some floated on the roofs
of their ruined houses. One of the Church missionaries, Mr. Jetter,
who had accompanied Mr. Thomason and some other gentlemen to Burdwan
to examine the schools there, called on me on his return and gave me
a most distressing account of the fall of houses, the loss of
property, the violent rushing of waters, so that none, not even the
best swimmers, dared to leave the place where they were.

"This inundation was very destructive to the Mission house, or
rather the Mission premises. A slip of the earth (somewhat like
that of an avalanche), took place on the bank of the river near my
house, and gradually approached it until only about ten feet of
space were left between that and the house; and that space soon
split. At last two fissures appeared in the foundation and wall of
the house itself. This was a signal for me to remove; and a house
built for a professor in the College being empty, I removed to it,
and through mercy am now comfortably settled there.

"I have nearly filled my letter with this account, but I must give
you a short account of the state of my mind when I could think, and
that was generally when excited by an access of friends; at other
times I could scarcely speak or think. I concluded one or two days
that my death was near. I had no joys; nor any fear of death, or
reluctance to die; but never was I so sensibly convinced of the
value of an ATONING Saviour as then. I could only say, 'Hangs my
helpless soul on thee;' and adopt the language of the first and
second verses of the fifty-first Psalm, which I desired might be the
text for my funeral sermon. A life of faith in Christ as the Lamb
of God who taketh away the sin of the world, appeared more than
ordinarily important to my mind, and I expressed these feelings to
those about me with freedom and pleasure.

"Now, through the gracious providence of God, I am again restored to
my work, and daily do a little as my strength will admit. The
printing of the translations is now going forward almost as usual,
but I have not yet been able to attend to my duties in College. The
affairs of the Mission are more extended, and I trust in as
prosperous a state as at any former time. There are now many of
other denominations employed in Missions, and I rejoice to say that
we are all workers together in the work. The native churches were
never in a better state, and the face of the Mission is in every
respect encouraging. Give my love to all who know me.--I am very
affectionately yours, W. CAREY."

Still more severe and disastrous in its effects was the cyclone of
1831. The former had desolated the open garden, but this laid low
some of the noblest trees which, in their fall, crushed his splendid
conservatory. One of his brethren represents the old man as weeping
over the ruin of the collections of twenty years. Again the Hoogli,
lashed into fury and swollen by the tidal wave, swept away the
lately-formed road, and, cutting off another fourth of the original
settlement of the Mission, imperilled the old house of Mr. Ward. Its
ruins were levelled to form another road, and ever since the whole
face of the right bank of the river has been a source of
apprehension and expense. Just before this, Dr. Staughton had
written from America that the interest on the funds raised there by
Ward for the College would not be sent until the trustees were
assured that the money was not to be spent on the teaching of
science in the College, but only on the theological education of
Hindoo converts. "I must confess," was Carey's reply, "I never heard
anything more illiberal. Pray can youth be trained up for the
Christian ministry without science? Do you in America train up
youths for it without any knowledge of science?"

One of Dr. Carey's latest visits to Calcutta was to inspect the
Society's Garden then at Alipore, and to write the elaborate report
of the Horticultural Committee which appeared in the second volume
of the Transactions after his death. He there records the great
success of the cultivation of the West India arrowroot. This he
introduced into his own garden, and after years of discontinued
culture we raised many a fine crop from the old roots. The old man
"cannot but advert, with feelings of the highest satisfaction, to
the display of vegetables on the 13th January 1830, a display which
would have done honour to any climate, or to any, even the most
improved system of horticulture...The greater part of the vegetables
then produced were, till within these last few years, of species
wholly unknown to the native gardeners."

When, in 1842, the Agri-Horticultural Society resolved to honour its
founder, it appropriately fell to Dr. Wallich, followed by the
president Sir J. P. Grant, to do what is thus recorded:--"Dr.
Wallich addressed the meeting at some length, and alluded to the
peculiar claims which their late venerable founder had on the
affection of all classes for his untiring exertions in advancing the
prosperity of India, and especially so on the members of the
Society. He concluded his address by this motion:--'That the
Agricultural and Horticultural Society of India, duly estimating the
great and important services rendered to the interests of British
India by the founder of the institution, the late Reverend Dr.
William Carey, who unceasingly applied his great talents, abilities,
and influence in advancing the happiness of India--more especially
by the spread of an improved system of husbandry and
gardening--desire to mark, by some permanent record, their sense of
his transcendent worth, by placing a marble bust to his memory in
the Society's new apartments at the Metcalfe Hall, there to remain a
lasting testimony to the pure and disinterested zeal and labours of
so illustrious a character: that a subscription, accordingly, from
among the members of the Society, be urgently recommended for the
accomplishment of the above object.'"

One fact in the history of the marble bust of Carey, which since
1845 has adorned the hall of the Agricultural Society of India,
would have delighted the venerable missionary. Following the
engraving from Home's portrait, and advised by one of the sons, Nobo
Koomar Pal, a self-educated Bengali artist, modelled the clay. The
clay bust was sent to England for the guidance of Mr. J. C. Lough,
the sculptor selected by Dr. Royle to finish the work in marble.
Mr. Lough had executed the Queen's statue for the Royal Exchange,
and the monument with a reclining figure of Southey. In sending out
the marble bust of Carey to Calcutta Dr. Royle wrote,--"I think the
bust an admirable one; General Macleod immediately recognised it as
one of your much esteemed Founder."

The Bengal Asiatic Society, on the motion of the Lord Bishop and
Colonel Sir Jer. Bryant, entered these words on their Journal:--"The
Asiatic Society cannot note upon their proceedings the death of the
Rev. W. Carey, D.D., so long an active member and an ornament of
this Institution, distinguished alike for his high attainments in
the Oriental languages, for his eminent services in opening the
stores of Indian literature to the knowledge of Europe, and for his
extensive acquaintance with the sciences, the natural history and
botany of this country, and his useful contributions on every hand
towards the promotion of the objects of the Society, without placing
on record this expression of their high sense of his value and
merits as a scholar and a man of science; their esteem for the
sterling and surpassing religious and moral excellencies of his
character, and their sincere grief for his irreparable loss."




Carey's relation to the new era--The East India Company's Charters
of 1793, 1813, and 1833--His double influence on the churches and
public opinion--The great missionary societies--Missionary journals
and their readers--Bengal and India recognised as the most important
mission fields--Influence on Robert Haldane--Reflex effect of
foreign on home missions--Carey's power over individuals--Melville
Horne and Douglas of Cavers--Henry Martyn--Charles Simeon and
Stewart of Moulin--Robert Hall and John Foster--Heber and
Chalmers--William Wilberforce on Carey--Mr. Prendergast and the tub
story--Last persecution by the Company's Government--Carey on the
persecution and the charter controversy--The persecuting clause and
the resolution legalising toleration--The Edinburgh Review and
Sydney Smith's fun--Sir James Mackintosh's opinion--Southey's
defence and eulogy of Carey and the brotherhood in the Quarterly
Review--Political value of Carey's labours--Andrew Fuller's death--A
model foreign mission secretary--His friendship with Carey--The
sixteen years' dispute--Dr. Carey's position--His defence of
Marshman--His chivalrous seIf-sacrifice--His forgiveness of the
younger brethren in Calcutta--His fidelity to righteousness and to

Himself the outcome of the social and political forces which began
in the French Revolution, and are still at work, William Carey was
made a living personal force to the new era. The period which was
introduced in 1783 by the Peace of Versailles in Europe following
the Independence of the United States of America, was new on every
side--in politics, in philosophy, in literature, in scientific
research, in a just and benevolent regard for the peoples of every
land, and in the awakening of the churches from the sleep of
formalism. Carey was no thinker, but with the reality and the
vividness of practical action and personal sacrifice he led the
English-speaking races, to whom the future of the world was then
given, to substitute for the dreams of Rousseau and all other
theories the teaching of Christ as to His kingdom within each man,
and in the progress of mankind.

Set free from the impossible task of administering North America on
the absolutist system which the Georges would fain have continued,
Great Britain found herself committed to the duty of doing for India
what Rome had done for Europe. England was compelled to surrender
the free West to her own children only that she might raise the
servile and idolatrous East to such a Christian level as the genius
of its peoples could in time enable them to work out. But it took
the thirty years from 1783 to 1813 to convince British statesmen,
from Pitt to Castlereagh, that India is to be civilised not
according to its own false systems, but by truth in all forms,
spiritual and moral, scientific and historical. It took other
twenty years, to the Charter of 1833, to complete the conversion of
the British Parliament to the belief that the principles of truth
and freedom are in their measure as good for the East as for the
West. At the beginning of this new period William Pitt based his
motion for Parliamentary reform on this fact, that "our senators are
no longer the representatives of British virtue but of the vices and
pollutions of the East." At the close of it Lord William Bentinck,
Macaulay, and Duff, co-operated in the decree which made truth, as
most completely revealed through the English language and
literature, the medium of India's enlightenment. William Carey's
career of fifty years, from his baptism in 1783 and the composition
of his Enquiry to his death in 1834, covered and influenced more
than any other one man's the whole time; and he represented in it an
element of permanent healthy nationalisation which these successors
overlooked,--the use of the languages of the peoples of India as the
only literary channels for allowing the truth revealed through
English to reach the millions of the people.

It was by this means that Carey educated Great Britain and America
to rise equal to the terrible trust of jointly creating a Christian
Empire of India, and ultimately a series of self-governing Christian
nations in Southern and Eastern Asia. He consciously and directly
roused the Churches of all names to carry out the commission of
their Master, and to seek the promised impulse of His Spirit or
Divine Representative on earth, that they might do greater things
than even those which He did. And he, less directly but not less
consciously, brought the influence of public opinion, which every
year purified and quickened, to bear upon Parliament and upon
individual statesmen, aided in this up till 1815 by Andrew Fuller.
He never set foot in England again, and the influence of his
brethren Ward and Marshman during their visits was largely
neutralised by some leaders of their own church. But Carey's
character and career, his letters and writings, his work and whole
personality, stood out in England, Scotland, and America as the
motive power which stimulated every church and society, and won the
triumph of toleration in the charter of 1813, of humanity,
education, and administrative reform in the legislation of Lord
William Bentinck.

We have already seen how the immediate result of Carey's early
letters was the foundation on a catholic basis of the London
Missionary Society, which now represents the great Nonconformist
half of England; of the Edinburgh or Scottish and Glasgow Societies,
through which the Presbyterians sent forth missionaries to West and
South Africa and to Western India, until their churches acted as
such; of the Church Missionary Society which the evangelical members
of the Church of England have put in the front of all the societies;
and of Robert Haldane's splendid self-sacrifice in selling all that
he had to lead a large Presbyterian mission to Hindostan. Soon
(1797) the London Society became the parent of that of the
Netherlands, and of that which is one of the most extensive in
Christendom, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign
Missions. The latter, really founded (1810) by Judson and some of
his fellow-students, gave birth (1814) to the almost equally great
American Baptist Union when Judson and his colleague became
Baptists, and the former was sent by Carey to Burma. The Religious
Tract Society (1799), and the British and Foreign Bible Society
(1804)--each a handmaid of the missionary agencies--sprang as really
though less directly from Carey's action. Such organised efforts to
bring in heathen and Mohammedan peoples led in 1809 to the at first
catholic work begun by the London Society for promoting Christianity
among the Jews. The older Wesleyan Methodist and Gospel Propagation
Societies, catching the enthusiasm as Carey succeeded in opening
India and the East, entered on a new development under which the
former in 1813, and the latter in 1821, no longer confined their
operations to the slaves of America and the English of the
dispersion in the colonies and dependencies of Great Britain. In
1815 Lutheran Germany also, which had cast out the Pietists and the
Moravian brethren as the Church of England had rejected the
Wesleyans, founded the principal representative of its
evangelicalism at Basel. The succeeding years up to Carey's death
saw similar missionary centres formed, or reorganised, in Leipzig
(1819), Berlin (1823), and Bremen (1836).23

The Periodical Accounts sent home from Mudnabati and Serampore,
beginning at the close of 1794, and the Monthly Circular Letters
after 1807, gave birth not only to these great missionary movements
but to the new and now familiar class of foreign missionary
periodicals. The few magazines then existing, like the Evangelical,
became filled with a new spirit of earnest aggressiveness. In 1796
there appeared in Edinburgh The Missionary Magazine, "a periodical
publication intended as a repository of discussion and intelligence
respecting the progress of the Gospel throughout the world." The
editors close their preface in January 1797 with this
statement:--"With much pleasure they have learned that there was
never a greater number of religious periodical publications carried
on than at present, and never were any of them more generally read.
The aggregate impression of those alone which are printed in
Britain every month considerably exceeds thirty thousand." The
first article utilises the facts sent home by Dr. Carey as the fruit
of his first two years' experience, to show "The Peculiar Advantages
of Bengal as a Field for Missions from Great Britain." After
describing, in the style of an English statesman, the immense
population, the highly civilised state of society, the eagerness of
the natives in the acquisition of knowledge, and the principles
which the Hindoos and Mohammedans hold in common with Christians,
the writer thus continues:--

"The attachment of both the Mohammedans and Hindoos to their ancient
systems is lessening every day. We have this information from the
late Sir William Jones, one of the Judges of that country, a name
dear to literature, and a lover of the religion of Jesus. The
Mussulmans in Hindostan are in general but little acquainted with
their system, and by no means so zealous for it as their brethren in
the Turkish and Persian empires. Besides, they have not the strong
arm of civil authority to crush those who would convert them. Mr.
Carey's letters seem to intimate the same relaxation among the
Hindoos. This decay of prejudice and bigotry will at least incline
them to listen with more patience, and a milder temper, to the
doctrines and evidences of the Christian religion. The degree of
adhesion to their castes, which still remains, is certainly
unfavourable, and must be considered as one of Satan's arts to
render men unhappy; but it is not insuperable. The Roman Catholics
have gained myriads of converts from among them. The Danish
missionaries record their thousands too: and one (Schwartz) of the
most successful missionaries at present in the world is labouring in
the southern part of Hindostan. Besides a very considerable number
who have thrown aside their old superstition, and make a profession
of the Christian religion, he computes that, in the course of his
ministry, he has been the instrument of savingly converting two
thousand persons to the faith of Christ. Of these, above five
hundred are Mohammedans: the rest are from among the different
castes of the Hindoos. In addition to these instances, it is proper
to notice the attention which the Hindoos are paying to the two
Baptist missionaries, and which gives a favourable specimen of their
readiness to listen to the preaching of the Gospel...

"Reflect, O disciple of Jesus! on what has been presented to thy
view. The cause of Christ is thy own cause. Without deep
criminality thou canst not be indifferent to its success. Rejoice
that so delightful a field of missions has been discovered and
exhibited. Rouse thyself from the slumbers of spiritual languor.
Exert thyself to the utmost of thy power; and let conscience be
able to testify, without a doubt, even at the tribunal of Jesus
Christ, If missionaries are not speedily sent to preach she glorious
Gospel in Bengal, it shall not be owing to me."

That is remarkable writing for an Edinburgh magazine in the year
1797, and it was Carey who made it possible. Its author followed up
the appeal by offering himself and his all, for life and death, in a
"Plan of the Mission to Bengal," which appeared in the April number.
Robert Haldane, whose journal at this time was full of Carey's
doings, and his ordained associates, Bogue, Innes, and Greville
Ewing, accompanied by John Ritchie as printer, John Campbell as
catechist, and other lay workers, determined to turn the very centre
of Hindooism, Benares, into a second Serampore. Defeated by one set
of Directors of the East India Company, he waited for the election
of their successors, only to find the East India Company as hostile
to the Scottish gentleman as they had been to the English shoemaker
four years before.

The formation of the great Missionary and Bible Societies did not,
as in the case of the Moravian Brethren and the Wesleyans, take
their members out of the Churches of England and Scotland, of the
Baptists and Independents. It supplied in each case an executive
through which they worked aggressively not only on the non-christian
world, but still more directly on their own home congregations and
parishes. The foreign mission spirit directly gave birth to the
home mission on an extensive scale. Not merely did the Haldanes and
their agents, following Whitefield and the Scottish Secession of
1733, become the evangelists of the north when they were not
suffered to preach the Gospel in South Asia; every member of the
churches of Great Britain and America, as he caught the enthusiasm
of humanity, in the Master's sense, from the periodical accounts
sent home from Serampore, and soon from Africa and the South Seas,
as well as from the Red Indians and Slaves of the West, began to
work as earnestly among the neglected classes around him, as to pray
and give for the conversion of the peoples abroad. From first to
last, from the early days of the Moravian influence on Wesley and
Whitefield, and the letters of Carey, to the successive visits to
the home churches of missionaries like Duff and Judson, Ellis and
Williams, Moffat and Livingstone, it is the enterprise of foreign
missions which has been the leaven of Christendom no less really
than of the rest of the world. Does the fact that at the close of
the year 1796 there were more than thirty thousand men and women in
Great Britain who every month read and prayed about the then little
known world of heathenism, and spared not their best to bring that
world to the Christ whom they had found, seem a small thing? How
much smaller, even to contemptible insignificance, must those who
think so consider the arrival of William Carey in Calcutta to be
three years before! Yet the thirty thousand sprang from the one,
and to-day the thirty thousand have a vast body of Christians really
obedient to the Master, in so far as, banded together in five
hundred churches and societies, they have sent out eighteen thousand
missionaries instead of one or two; they see eighty thousand
Asiatics, Africans, and Polynesians proclaiming the Christ to their
countrymen, and their praying is tested by their giving annually a
sum of £5,000,000, to which every year is adding.

The influence of Carey and his work on individual men and women in
his generation was even more marked, inasmuch as his humility kept
him so often from magnifying his office and glorifying God as the
example of Paul should have encouraged him to do. Most important of
all for the cause, he personally called Ward to be his associate,
and his writings drew Dr. and Mrs. Marshman to his side, while his
apostolic charity so developed and used all that was good in Thomas
and Fountain, that not even in the churches of John and James, Peter
and Paul, Barnabas and Luke, was there such a brotherhood. When
troubles came from outside he won to himself the younger brethren,
Yates and Pearce, and healed half the schism which Andrew Fuller's
successors made. His Enquiry, followed "by actually embarking on a
mission to India," led to the publication of the Letters on Missions
addressed to the Protestant Ministers of the British Churches by
Melville Horne, who, after a brief experience as Church of England
chaplain in Zachary Macaulay's settlement of Sierra Leone, published
that little book to excite in all Christians a passion for missions
like the Master's. Referring to the English churches, Established
and Nonconformist, he wrote:--"Except the Reverend Mr. Carey and a
friend who accompanies him, I am not informed of any...ministers who
are engaged in missions." Such was the impression made by Carey on
John Newton that, in 1802, he rebuked his old curate, Claudius
Buchanan, for depreciating the Serampore missionaries, adding, "I do
not look for miracles, but if God were to work one in our day, I
should not wonder if it were in favour of Dr. Carey."

The Serampore Mission, at an early period, called forth the
admiration of the Scottish philanthropist and essayist, James
Douglas of Cavers, whose Hints on Missions (1822), a book still full
of suggestiveness, contains this passage:--"Education and the press
have only been employed to purpose of very late years, especially by
the missionaries of Serampore; every year they have been making some
improvements upon their former efforts, only requires to
increase the number of printing presses, schools, teachers,
translators, and professors, to accelerate to any pitch the rate of
improvement...To attempt to convert the world without educating it,
is grasping at the end and neglecting the means." Referring to what
Carey had begun and the Serampore College had helped to develop in
Asia, as in Africa and America, Douglas of Cavers well described the
missionary era, the new crusade:--"The Reformation itself needed
anew a reform in the spirit if not in the letter. That second
Reformation has begun; it makes less noise than that of Luther, but
it spreads wider and deeper; as it is more intimate it will be more
enduring. Like the Temple of Solomon, it is rising silently,
without the din of pressure or the note of previous preparation, but
notwithstanding it will be not less complete in all its parts nor
less able to resist the injuries of time!"

Henry Martyn died, perhaps the loftiest and most loving spirit of
the men whom Carey drew to India. Son of a Cornish miner-captain,
after passing through the Truro Grammar School, he was sixteen--the
age at which Carey became a shoemaker's apprentice--when he was
entered at St. John's, and made that ever since the most missionary
of all the colleges of Cambridge. When not yet twenty he came out
Senior Wrangler. His father's death drove him to the Bible, to the
Acts of the Apostles, which he began to study, and the first whisper
of the call of Christ came to him in the joy of the Magnificat as
its strains pealed through the chapel. Charles Simeon's preaching
drew him to Trinity Church. In the vicarage, when he had come to be
tutor of his college, and was preparing for the law, he heard much
talk of William Carey, of his self-sacrifice and his success in
India. It was the opening year of the nineteenth century, the
Church Missionary Society had just been born as the fruit partly of
a paper written by Simeon four years previously, and he offered
himself as its first English missionary. He was not twenty-one, he
could not be ordained for two years. Meanwhile a calamity made him
and his unmarried sister penniless; he loved Lydia Grenfell with a
pure passion which enriched while it saddened his short life, and a
chaplaincy became the best mode in every way of his living and dying
for India. What a meeting must that have been between him and Carey
when, already stricken by fever, he found a sanctuary in Aldeen, and
learned at Serampore the sweetness of telling to the natives of
India in one of their own tongues the love of God. William Carey and
Henry Martyn were one in origin, from the people; in industry, as
scholars; in genius, as God-devoted; in the love of a great heart
not always returned. The older man left the church of his fathers
because there was no Simeon and no missionary society, and he made
his own university; he laid the foundation of English missions deep
and broad in no sect but in Christ, to whom he and Martyn alike gave

The names of Carey and Simeon, thus linked to each other by Martyn,
find another pleasant and fruitful tie in the Rev. Alexander
Stewart, D.D., Gaelic scholar and Scottish preacher. It was soon
after Carey went out to India that Simeon, travelling in the
Highlands, spent a Sunday in the manse of Moulin, where his personal
intercourse and his evening sermon after a season of Communion were
blessed to the evangelical enlightenment of Stewart. Moulin was the
birthplace ten years after of Alexander Duff, whose parents
previously came under the power of the minister's new-found light.24
Like Simeon, Dr. Stewart thenceforth became a warm supporter of
foreign missions. Finding in the Periodical Accounts a letter in
which Carey asked Fuller to send him a copy of Van der Hooght's
edition of the Hebrew Bible because of the weakness of his eyesight,
Dr. Stewart at once wrote offering his own copy. Fuller gladly
accepted the kindness. "I with great pleasure," writes Dr. Stewart,
"followed the direction, wrote a letter of some length to Carey, and
sent off my parcel to London. I daresay you remember my favourite
Hebrew Bible in two volumes. I parted with it with something of the
same feelings that a pious parent might do with a favourite son
going on a mission to the heathen--with a little regret but with
much goodwill." This was the beginning of an interesting
correspondence with Carey and Fuller.

Next to Andrew Fuller, and in the region of literature, general
culture and eloquence before him, the strongest men among the
Baptists were the younger Robert Hall and John Foster. Both were
devoted to Carey, and were the most powerful of the English
advocates of his mission. The former, for a time, was led to side
with the Society in some of the details of its dispute with Dr.
Marshman, but his loyalty to Carey and the principles of the mission
fired some of the most eloquent orations in English literature.
John Foster's shrewder common sense never wavered, but inspired his
pen alike in the heat of controversy and in his powerful essays and
criticisms. Writing in 1828, he declared that the Serampore
missionaries "have laboured with the most earnest assiduity for a
quarter of a century (Dr. Carey much longer) in all manner of
undertakings for promoting Christianity, with such a renunciation of
self-interest as will never be surpassed; that they have conveyed
the oracles of divine truth into so many languages; that they have
watched over diversified missionary operations with unremitting
care; that they have conducted themselves through many trying and
some perilous circumstances with prudence and fortitude; and that
they retain to this hour an undiminished zeal to do all that
providence shall enable them in the same good cause." The
expenditure of the Serampore Brotherhood up to that time, leaving
out of account the miscellaneous missionary services, he showed to
have been upwards of £75,000. Dr. Chalmers in Scotland was as
stoutly with Carey and his brethren as Foster was in England, so
that Marshman wrote:--"Thus two of the greatest and wisest men of
England are on our side, and, what is more, I trust the Lord God is
with us." What Heber thought, alike as man and bishop, his own
loving letter and proposal for "reunion of our churches" in the next
chapter will show.

Of all the publicists in the United Kingdom during Carey's long
career the foremost was William Wilberforce; he was not second even
to Charles Grant and his sons. Defeated in carrying into law the
"pious clauses" of the charter which would have opened India to the
Christian missionary and schoolmaster in 1793, he nevertheless
succeeded by his persuasive eloquence and the weight of his
character in having them entered as Resolutions of the House of
Commons. He then gave himself successfully to the abolition of the
slave-trade. But he always declared the toleration of Christianity
in British India to be "that greatest of all causes, for I really
place it before the abolition, in which, blessed be God, we gained
the victory." His defeat in 1793, when Dundas and the Government
were with him, was due to the apathy of public opinion, and
especially of the dumb churches. But in the next twenty years Carey
changed all that. Not merely was Andrew Fuller ever on the watch
with pen and voice, but all the churches were roused, the
Established to send out bishops and chaplains, the Nonconformist and
Established Evangelicals together to secure freedom for missionaries
and schoolmasters. In 1793 an English missionary was an unknown and
therefore a much-dreaded monster, for Carey was then on the sea. In
1813 Carey and the Serampore Brotherhood were still the only English
missionaries continuously at work in India, and not the churches
only, but governor-generals like Teignmouth and Wellesley, and
scholars like Colebrooke and H. H. Wilson, were familiar with the
grandeur and political innocency of their labours. Hence this
outburst of Wilberforce in the House of Commons on the 16th July
1813, when he used the name of Carey to defeat an attempt of the
Company to prevent toleration by omitting the declaratory clauses of
the Resolution, which would have made it imply that the privilege
should never be exerted though the power of licensing missionaries
was nominally conceded.

"One great argument of his opponents was grounded on the
enthusiastic character which they imputed to the missionary body.
India hitherto has seen no missionary who was a member of the
English Church, and imputations could be cast more readily on
'Anabaptists and fanatics.' These attacks Mr. Wilberforce
indignantly refuted, and well had the noble conduct of the band at
Serampore deserved this vindication. 'I do not know,' he often said,
'a finer instance of the moral sublime, than that a poor cobbler
working in his stall should conceive the idea of converting the
Hindoos to Christianity; yet such was Dr. Carey. Why Milton's
planning his Paradise Lost in his old age and blindness was nothing
to it. And then when he had gone to India, and was appointed by
Lord Wellesley to a lucrative and honourable station in the college
of Fort William, with equal nobleness of mind he made over all his
salary (between £1000 and £1500 per annum) to the general objects of
the mission. By the way, nothing ever gave me a more lively sense
of the low and mercenary standard of your men of honour, than the
manifest effect produced upon the House of Commons by my stating
this last circumstance. It seemed to be the only thing which moved
them.' Dr. Carey had been especially attacked, and 'a few days
afterwards the member who had made this charge came to me, and asked
me in a manner which in a noted duellist could not be mistaken,
"Pray, Mr. Wilberforce, do you know a Mr. Andrew Fuller, who has
written to desire me to retract the statement which I made with
reference to Dr. Carey?" "Yes," I answered with a smile, "I know him
perfectly, but depend upon it you will make nothing of him in your
way; he is a respectable Baptist minister at Kettering." In due
time there came from India an authoritative contradiction of the
slander. It was sent to me, and for two whole years did I take it
in my pocket to the House of Commons to read it to the House
whenever the author of the accusation should be present; but during
that whole time he never once dared show himself in the House.'"

The slanderer was a Mr. Prendergast, who affirmed that Dr. Carey's
conduct had changed so much for the worse since the departure of
Lord Wellesley, that he himself had seen the missionary on a tub in
the streets of Calcutta haranguing the mob and abusing the religion
of the people in such a way that the police alone saved him from
being killed. So, and for the same object of defeating the
Resolutions on Toleration, Mr. Montgomerie Campbell had asserted
that when Schwartz was in the heat of his discourse in a certain
village and had taken off his stock, "that and his gold buckle were
stolen by one of his virtuous and enlightened congregation; in such
a description of natives did the doctrine of the missionaries
operate." Before Dr. Carey's exposure could reach England this
"tub" story became the stock argument of the anti-christian orators.
The Madras barrister, Marsh, who was put up to answer Wilberforce,
was driven to such language as this:--

"Your struggles are only begun when you have converted one caste;
never will the scheme of Hindoo conversion be realised till you
persuade an immense population to suffer by whole tribes the
severest martyrdom that has yet been sustained for the sake of
religion--and are the missionaries whom this bill will let loose on
India fit engines for the accomplishment of this great revolution?
Will these people, crawling from the holes and caverns of their
original destinations, apostates from the loom and the anvil--he
should have said the awl--and renegades from the lowest handicraft
employments, be a match for the cool and sedate controversies they
will have to encounter should the Brahmans condescend to enter into
the arena against the maimed and crippled gladiators that presume to
grapple with their faith? What can be apprehended but the disgrace
and discomfiture of whole hosts of tub preachers in the conflict?"

Lord Wellesley's eulogy of the Serampore mission in the House of
Lords was much more pronounced than appears from the imperfect
report. But even in that he answered the Brahmanised member of the
House of Commons thus:--

"With regard to the missionaries, he must say that while he was in
India he never knew of any danger arising from their proceedings,
neither had he heard of any impression produced by them in the way
of conversion. The greater number of them were in the Danish
settlement of Serampore; but he never heard of any convulsions or
any alarm produced by them. Some of them, particularly Mr. Carey,
were very learned men, and had been employed in the College of Fort
William. He had always considered the missionaries who were in
India in his time a quiet, orderly, discreet, and learned body; and
he had employed them in the education of youth and the translation
of the Scriptures into the eastern languages. He had thought it his
duty to have the Sacred Scriptures translated into the languages of
the East, and to give the learned natives employed in the
translation the advantage of access to the sacred fountain of divine
truth. He thought a Christian governor could not have done less;
and he knew that a British governor ought not to do more."

Carey's letters to Fuller in 1810-12 are filled with importunate
appeals to agitate, so that the new charter might legalise Christian
mission work in India. Fuller worked outside of the House as hard
as Wilberforce. In eight weeks of the session no fewer than nine
hundred petitions were presented, in twenties and thirties, night
after night, till Lord Castlereagh exclaimed, "This is enough, Mr.
Fuller." There was more reason for Carey's urgency than he knew at
the time he was pressing Fuller. The persecution of the
missionaries in Bengal, excused by the Vellore mutiny, which had
driven Judson to Burma and several other missionaries elsewhere, was
renewed by the Indian Government's secretaries and police. The
Ministry had informed the Court of Directors that they had resolved
to permit Europeans to settle in India, yet after five weeks'
vacillation the Governor-General yielded to his subordinates so far
as to issue an order on 5th March 1812, for the expulsion of three
missionaries, an order which was so executed that one of them was
conducted like a felon through the streets and lodged in the native
jail for two hours. Carey thus wrote to Ryland on the

"CALCUTTA, 14th April 1813.--Before this reaches you it is probable
that you will have heard of the resolution of Government respecting
our brethren Johns, Lawson, and Robinson, and will perhaps have even
seen Brother Johns, who was by that cruel order sent home on the
Castlereagh. Government have agreed that Brother Lawson shall stay
till the pleasure of the Court of Directors is known, to whom a
reference will be made. Brother Robinson was gone down the river,
and was on board a ship bound to Java when the order was issued; he
therefore got out without hearing of it, but I understand it will be
sent thither after him. Jehovah reigneth!

"Since Brother Johns's departure I have tried to ascertain the cause
of the severity in Government. I had a long conversation with H. T.
Colebrooke, Esq., who has been out of Council but a few months, upon
the matter. I cannot learn that Government has any specific dislike
to us, but find that ever since the year 1807 the orders of the
Court of Directors to send home all Europeans not in the service of
Her Majesty or the Company, and who come out without leave of the
Directors, have been so peremptory and express that Government
cannot now overlook any circumstance which brings such persons to
notice. Notwithstanding the general way in which the Court of
Directors have worded their orders, I cannot help putting several
circumstances together, which make me fear that our Mission was the
cause of the enforcement of that general law which forbids Europeans
to remain in India without the leave of the Court of Directors.

"Whether Twining's pamphlet excited the alarm, or was only an echo
of the minds of a number of men hostile to religion, I cannot say,
but if I recollect dates aright the orders of the Court of Directors
came as soon as possible after that pamphlet was published; and as
it would have been too barefaced to have given a specific order to
send home missionaries, they founded their orders on an unjust and
wicked clause in the charter, and so enforced it that it should
effectually operate on missionaries.

"I hope the friends of religion will persevere in the use of all
peaceful and lawful means to prevail on the legislature to expunge
that clause, or so to modify it that ministers of the Gospel may
have leave to preach, form and visit churches, and perform the
various duties of their office without molestation, and that they
may have a right to settle in and travel over any part of India for
that purpose. Nothing can be more just than this wish, and nothing
would be more politic than for it to be granted; for every one
converted from among the heathen is from that time a staunch friend
of the English Government. Our necks have, however, been more or
less under the yoke ever since that year, and preaching the Gospel
stands in much the same political light as committing an act of
felony. Witness what has been done to Mr. Thompson, the five
American brethren, and our three brethren. Mr. Thomason, the
clergyman, has likewise hard work to stand his ground.

"I trust, however, it is too late to eradicate the Gospel from
Bengal. The number of those born in the country who preach the Word
is now very considerable. Fifteen of this description preach
constantly, and seven or eight more occasionally exhort their
countrymen, besides our European brethren. The Gospel is stationed
at eighteen or twenty stations belonging to our Mission alone, and
at several of them there are churches. The Bible is either
translated or under translation into twenty-four of the languages of
the East, eighteen of which we are employed about, besides printing
most of the others. Thirteen out of these eighteen are now in the
press, including a third edition of the Bengali New Testament.
Indeed, so great is the demand for Bibles that though we have eight
presses constantly at work I fear we shall not have a Bengali New
Testament to sell or give away for the next twelve months, the old
edition being entirely out of print. We shall be in almost the same
predicament with the Hindostani. We are going to set up two more
presses, which we can get made in Calcutta, and are going to send
another to Rangoon. In short, though the publishing of the Word of
God is a political crime, there never was a time when it was so
successful. 'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the

"Through divine mercy we are all well, and live in peace and love.
A small cloud which threatened at the time Brother Johns left us
has mercifully blown over, and we are now in the utmost harmony. I
will, if possible, write to my nephew Eustace by these ships, but I
am so pressed for time that I can never promise to write a letter.
The Lord has so blessed us that we are now printing in more
languages than we could do before the fire took place.

"Give my love to Eustace, also to all who recollect or think of me.
I am now near fifty-two years of age; yet through mercy I am well
and am enabled to keep close to work twelve or fourteen hours a day.
I hope to see the Bible printed in most of the languages in which
it is begun.--I am, very affectionately yours, WM. CAREY."

Carey had previously written thus to Fuller:--"The fault lies in the
clause which gives the Company power thus to send home interlopers,
and is just as reasonable as one which should forbid all the people
in England--a select few excepted--to look at the moon. I hope this
clause will be modified or expunged in the new charter. The
prohibition is wrong, and nothing that is morally wrong can be
politically right."

It was left to the charter of 1853 fully to liberalise the Company,
but each step was taken too late to save it from the nemesis of 1857
and extinction in 1858. "Let no man think," Wilberforce had said to
the House of Commons in 1813, "that the petitions which have loaded
our table have been produced by a burst of momentary enthusiasm.
While the sun and moon continue to shine in the firmament so long
will this object be pursued with unabated ardour until the great
work be accomplished."

The opposition of Anglo-Indian officials and lawyers, which vainly
used no better weapons than such as Mr. Prendergast and his "tub"
fabrication, had been anticipated and encouraged by the Edinburgh
Review. That periodical was at the height of its influence in 1808,
the year before John Murray's Quarterly was first published. The
Rev. Sydney Smith, as the literary and professional representative
of what he delighted to call "the cause of rational religion," was
the foe of every form of earnest Christianity, which he joined the
mob in stigmatising as "Methodism." He was not unacquainted with
Indian politics, for his equally clever brother, known as Bobus
Smith, was long Advocate-General in Calcutta, and left a very
considerable fortune made there to enrich the last six years of the
Canon's life. Casting about for a subject on which to exercise at
once his animosity and his fun, he found it in the Periodical
Accounts, wherein Fuller had undoubtedly too often published letters
and passages of journals written only for the eye of the private
friend. Carey frequently remonstrated against the publicity given
to some of his communications, and the fear of this checked his
correspondence. In truth, the new-born enthusiasm was such that, at
first, the Committee kept nothing back. It was easy for a
litterateur like Sydney Smith in those days to extract passages and
to give them such headings as "Brother Carey's Piety at Sea,"
"Hatred of the Natives to the Gospel." Smith produced an article
which, as republished in his collected essays, has a historical
value as a test of the bitterness of the hate which the missionary
enterprise had to meet in secular literature till the death of
Livingstone, Wilson, and Duff opened the eyes of journalism to the
facts. In itself it must be read in the light of its author's own
criticism of his articles, thus expressed in a letter to Francis
Jeffrey, and of the regret that he had written it which, Jeffrey
told Dr. Marshman, he lived to utter:--"Never mind; let them" (his
articles) "go away with their absurdity unadulterated and pure. If
I please, the object for which I write is attained; if I do not, the
laughter which follows my error is the only thing which can make me
cautious and tremble." But for that picture by himself we should
have pronounced Carlyle's drawing of him to be almost as malicious
as his own of the Serampore missonaries--"A mass of fat and
muscularity, with massive Roman nose, piercing hazel eyes,
shrewdness and fun--not humour or even wit--seemingly without soul

The attack called forth a reply by Mr. Styles so severe that Sydney
Smith wrote a rejoinder which began by claiming credit for "rooting
out a nest of consecrated cobblers." Sir James Mackintosh, then in
Bombay, wrote of a similar assault by Mr. Thomas Twining on the
Bible Societies, that it "must excite general indignation. The only
measure which he could consistently propose would be the infliction
of capital punishment on the crime of preaching or embracing
Christianity in India, for almost every inferior degree of
persecution is already practised by European or native
anti-christians. But it fell to Southey, in the very first number
of the Quarterly Review, in April 1809, to deal with the Rev. Sydney
Smith, and to defend Carey and the Brotherhood as both deserved.
The layman's defence was the more effective for its immediate
purpose that he started from the same prejudice as that of the
reverend Whig rationalist--"the Wesleyans, the Orthodox dissenters
of every description, and the Evangelical churchmen may all be
comprehended under the generic name of Methodists. The religion
which they preach is not the religion of our fathers, and what they
have altered they have made worse." But Southey had himself faith
as well as a literary canon higher than that of his opponent who
wrote only to "please" his patrons. He saw in these Methodists
alone that which he appreciated as the essence of true faith--"that
spirit of enthusiasm by which Europe was converted to Christianity
they have in some measure revived, and they have removed from
Protestantism a part of its reproach." He proceeded to tell how
"this Mission, which is represented by its enemies as so dangerous
to the British Empire in India, and thereby, according to a logic
learnt from Buonaparte, to England also, originated in a man by name
William Carey, who till the twenty-fourth year of his age was a
working shoemaker. Sectarianism has this main advantage over the
Established Church, that its men of ability certainly find their
station, and none of its talents are neglected or lost. Carey was a
studious and pious man, his faith wrong, his feelings right. He
made himself competently versed in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. He is
now probably a far more learned orientalist than any European has
ever been before him, and has been appointed Professor of Sanskrit
and Bengali at the College of Fort William." Then follow a history
of the Mission written in a style worthy of the author of the Life
of Nelson, and these statements of the political and the purely
missionary questions, which read now almost as predictions:--

"The first step towards winning the natives to our religion is to
show them that we have one. This will hardly be done without a
visible church. There would be no difficulty in filling up the
establishment, however ample; but would the archbishop, bishops,
deans, and chapters of Mr. Buchanan's plan do the work of
missionaries? Could the Church of England supply
missionaries?--where are they to be found among them? In what
school for the promulgation of sound and orthodox learning are they
trained up? There is ability and there is learning in the Church of
England, but its age of fermentation has long been over; and that
zeal which for this work is the most needful is, we fear, possessed
only by the Methodists...

"Carey and his son have been in Bengal fourteen years, the other
brethren only nine; they had all a difficult language to acquire
before they could speak to a native, and to preach and argue in it
required a thorough and familiar knowledge. Under these
circumstances the wonder is, not that they have done so little, but
that they have done so much; for it will be found that, even without
this difficulty to retard them, no religious opinions have spread
more rapidly in the same time, unless there was some remarkable
folly or extravagance to recommend them, or some powerful worldly
inducement. Their progress will be continually accelerating; the
difficulty is at first, as in introducing vaccination into a distant
land; when the matter has once taken one subject supplies infection
for all around him, and the disease takes root in the country. The
husband converts the wife, the son converts the parent, the friend
his friend, and every fresh proselyte becomes a missionary in his
own neighbourhood. Thus their sphere of influence and of action
widens, and the eventual issue of a struggle between truth and
falsehood is not to be doubted by those who believe in the former.
Other missionaries from other societies have now entered India, and
will soon become efficient labourers in their station. From
Government all that is asked is toleration for themselves and
protection for their converts. The plan which they have laid for
their own proceedings is perfectly prudent and unexceptionable, and
there is as little fear of their provoking martyrdom as there would
be of their shrinking from it, if the cause of God and man require
the sacrifice. But the converts ought to be protected from
violence, and all cramming with cow-dung prohibited on pain of
retaliation with beef-tea.

"Nothing can be more unfair than the manner in which the scoffers
and alarmists have represented the missionaries. We, who have thus
vindicated them, are neither blind to what is erroneous in their
doctrine or ludicrous in their phraseology; but the
anti-missionaries cull out from their journals and letters all that
is ridiculous sectarian, and trifling; call them fools, madmen,
tinkers, Calvinists, and schismatics; and keep out of sight their
love of man, and their zeal for God, their self-devotement, their
indefatigable industry, and their unequalled learning. These
low-born and low-bred mechanics have translated the whole Bible into
Bengali, and have by this time printed it. They are printing the
New Testament in the Sanskrit, the Orissa, Mahratta, Hindostan, and
Guzarat, and translating it into Persic, Telinga, Karnata, Chinese,
the language of the Sieks and of the Burmans, and in four of these
languages they are going on with the Bible. Extraordinary as this
is, it will appear more so when it is remembered that of these men
one was originally a shoemaker, another a printer at Hull, and a
third the master of a charity-school at Bristol. Only fourteen
years have elapsed since Thomas and Carey set foot in India, and in
that time have these missionaries acquired this gift of tongues, in
fourteen years these low-born, low-bred mechanics have done more
towards spreading the knowledge of the Scriptures among the heathen
than has been accomplished, or even attempted, by all the princes
and potentates of the world--and all the universities and
establishments into the bargain.

"Do not think to supersede the Baptist missionaries till you can
provide from your own church such men as these, and, it may be
added, such women also as their wives."

Soon after the Charter victory had been gained "that fierce and
fiery Calvinist," whose dictum Southey adopted, that the question in
dispute is not whether the natives shall enjoy toleration, but
whether that toleration shall be extended to the teachers of
Christianity, Andrew Fuller, entered into rest on the 7th May 1815,
at the age of sixty-two. Sutcliff of Olney had been the first of
the three to be taken away25 a year before, at the same age. The
scholarly Dr. Ryland of Bristol was left alone, and the home
management of the Mission passed into the hands of another
generation. Up to Fuller's death that management had been almost
ideally perfect. In 1812 the Committee had been increased by the
addition of nineteen members, to represent the growing interest of
the churches in Serampore, and to meet the demand of the
"respectable" class who had held aloof at the first, who were eager
that the headquarters of so renowned an enterprise should be removed
to London. But Fuller prevailed to keep the Society a little longer
at Kettering, although he failed to secure as his assistant and
successor the one man whose ability, experience, and prudence would
have been equal to his own, and have prevented the troubles that
followed--Christopher Anderson. As Fuller lay dying, he dictated a
letter to Ryland wherein he thus referred to the evangelical
doctrine of grace which he had been the one English theologian of
his day to defend from the hyper-calvinists, and to use as the
foundation of the modern missionary enterprise:--"I have preached
and written much against the abuse of the doctrine of grace, but
that doctrine is all my salvation and all my desire. I have no
other hope than from salvation by mere sovereign, efficacious grace
through the atonement of my Lord and Saviour: with this hope I can
go into eternity with composure. We have some who have been giving
it out of late that if Sutcliff and some others had preached more of
Christ and less of Jonathan Edwards they would have been more
useful. If those who talk thus had preached Christ half as much as
Jonathan Edwards did, and were half as useful as he was, their
usefulness would be double what it is. It is very singular that the
Mission to the East originated with one of these principles, and
without pretending to be a prophet, I may say if it ever falls into
the hands of men who talk in this strain (of hyper-calvinism) it
will soon come to nothing."

Andrew Fuller was not only the first of Foreign Mission Secretaries;
he was a model for all. To him his work was spiritual life, and
hence, though the most active preacher and writer of his day, he was
like Carey in this, that his working day was twice as long as that
of most men, and he could spend half of his time in the frequent
journeys all over the kingdom to raise funds, in repeated campaigns
in London to secure toleration, and in abundant letters to the
missionaries. His relation to the Committee, up to the last, was
equally exemplary. In the very earliest missionary organisation in
England it is due to him that the line was clearly drawn between the
deliberative and judicial function which is that of the members, and
the executive which is that of the secretary. Wisdom and
efficiency, clearness of perception and promptitude of action, were
thus combined. Fuller's, too, was the special merit of realising
that, while a missionary committee or church are fellow-workers only
with the men and women abroad, the Serampore Brotherhood was a
self-supporting, and to that extent a self-governing body in a sense
true of no foreign mission ever since. The two triumvirates,
moreover, consisted of giants--Carey, Marshman, and Ward abroad;
Fuller, Sutcliff, and Ryland at home. To Carey personally the death
of Fuller was more than to any other. For almost the quarter of a
century he had kept his vow that he would hold the rope. When
Pearce died all too soon there was none whom Carey loved like
Fuller, while Fuller's devotion to Carey was all the greater that it
was tempered by a wise jealousy for his perfectness. So early as
1797, Fuller wrote thus to the troublesome Fountain:--"It affords us
good hope of your being a useful missionary that you seem to love
and revere the counsels of Brother Carey. A humble, peaceful,
circumspect, disinterested, faithful, peaceable, and zealous conduct
like his will render you a blessing to society. Brother Carey is
greatly respected and beloved by all denominations here. I will
tell you what I have foreborne to tell him lest it should hurt his
modesty. Good old Mr. Newton says: 'Mr. Carey has favoured me with
a letter, which, indeed, I accept as a favour, and I mean to thank
him for it. I trust my heart as cordially unites with him as though
I were a brother Baptist myself. I look to such a man with
reverence. He is more to me than bishop or archbishop; he is an
apostle. May the Lord make all who undertake missions like-minded
with Brother Carey!'" As the home administrator, no less than as
the theological controversialist, Andrew Fuller stands only second
to William Carey, the founder of Modern English Missions.

Fuller's last letter to Carey forms the best introduction to the
little which it is here necessary to record of the action of the
Baptist Missionary Society when under the secretaryship of the Rev.
John Dyer. Mr. John Marshman, C.S.I., has written the detailed
history of that controversy not only with filial duty, but with a
forgiving charity which excites our admiration for one who suffered
more from it than all his predecessors in the Brotherhood, of which
he was the last representative. The Society has long since ceased
to approve of that period. Its opinion has become that of Mr.
Marshman, to which a careful perusal of all the documents both in
Serampore and England has led us--"Had it been possible to create a
dozen establishments like that of Serampore, each raising and
managing its own funds, and connected with the Society as the centre
of unity in a common cause, it ought to have been a subject of
congratulation and not of regret." The whole policy of every
missionary church and society is now and has long been directed to
creating self-supporting and self-propagating missions, like
Serampore, that the regions beyond may be evangelised--whether these
be colleges of catechumens and inquirers, like those of Duff and
Wilson, Hislop and Dr. Miller in India, and of Govan and Dr. Stewart
in Lovedale, Kafraria; or the indigenous churches of the West
Indies, West Africa, the Pacific Ocean, and Burma. To us the long
and bitter dispute is now of value only in so far as it brings out
in Christ-like relief the personality of William Carey.

At the close of 1814 Dr. Carey had asked Fuller to pay £50 a year to
his father, then in his eightieth year, and £20 to his (step) mother
if she survived the old man. Protesting that an engraving of his
portrait had been published in violation of the agreement which he
had made with the artist, he agreed to the wish of each of his
relatives for a copy. To these requests Fuller had replied:--"You
should not insist on these things being charged to you, nor yet your
father's £50, nor the books, nor anything necessary to make you
comfortable, unless it be to be paid out of what you would otherwise
give to the mission. To insist on their being paid out of your
private property seems to be dictated by resentment. It is thus we
express our indignation when we have an avaricious man to deal

The first act of the Committee, after Fuller's funeral, led Dr.
Ryland to express to Carey his unbounded fears for the future.
There were two difficulties. The new men raised the first
question, in what sense the Serampore property belonged to the
Society? They then proceeded to show how they would answer it, by
appointing the son of Samuel Pearce to Serampore as Mr. Ward's
assistant. On both sides of their independence, as trustees of the
property which they had created and gifted to the Society on this
condition, and as a self-supporting, self-elective brotherhood, it
became necessary, for the unbroken peace of the mission and the
success of their work, that they should vindicate their moral and
legal position. The correspondence fell chiefly to Dr. Marshman.
Ward and he successively visited England, to which the controversy
was transferred, with occasional references to Dr. Carey in
Serampore. All Scotland, led by Christopher Anderson, Chalmers, and
the Haldanes--all England, except the Dyer faction and Robert Hall
for a time, among the Baptists, and nearly all America, held with
the Serampore men; but their ever-extending operations were checked
by the uncertainty, and their hearts were nearly broken. The junior
missionaries in India formed a separate union and congregation by
themselves in Calcutta, paid by the Society, though professing to
carry out the organisation of the Serampore Brotherhood in other
respects. The Committee's controversy lasted sixteen years, and was
closed in 1830, after Ward's death, by Carey and Marshman drawing up
a new trust-deed, in which, having vindicated their position, the
old men made over properties which had cost them £7800 to eleven
trustees in England, stipulating only that they should occupy them
rent free till death, and that their colleagues--who were John
Marshman and John Mack, of Edinburgh University--might continue in
them for three years thereafter, paying rent to the Society. Such
self-sacrifice would be pronounced heroic, but it was only the
outcome of a life of self-devotion, marked by the spirit of Him who
spake the Sermon on the Mount, and said to the first missionaries He
sent forth:--"Be wise as serpents, harmless as doves." The story is
completed by the fact that John Marshman, on his father's death,
again paid the price of as much of the property as the Hoogli had
not swallowed up when the Committee were about to put it in the

Such was Dr. Carey's position in the Christian world that the Dyer
party considered it important for their interest to separate him
from his colleagues, and if not to claim his influence for their
side, at least to neutralise it. By trying to hold up Dr. Marshman
to odium, they roused the righteous indignation of Carey, while
outraging his sense of justice by their blows at the independence of
the Brotherhood. Dr. Marshman, when in England, met this course by
frankly printing the whole private correspondence of Carey on the
subject of the property, or thirty-two letters ranging from the year
1815 to 1828. One of the earliest of these is to Mr. Dyer, who had
so far forgotten himself as to ask Dr. Carey to write home, alone,
his opinion of his "elder brethren," and particularly of Dr.
Marshman. The answer, covering eleven octavo pages of small type,
is a model for all controversialists, and especially for any whom
duty compels to rebuke the minister who has failed to learn the
charity which envieth not. We reproduce the principal passages, and
the later letters to Christopher Anderson and his son Jabez,
revealing the nobleness of Carey and the inner life of the

"SERAMPORE, 15th July 1819.

"MY DEAR BROTHER--I am sorry you addressed your letter of January
the 9th to me alone, because it places me in a most awkward
situation, as it respects my elder brethren, with whom I have acted
in concert for the last nineteen years, with as great a share of
satisfaction and pleasure as could reasonably be expected from a
connection with imperfect creatures, and whom I am thereby called to
condemn contrary to my convictions, or to justify at the expense of
their accusers. It also places me in a disagreeable situation as it
respects my younger brethren, whom I highly respect as Christians;
but whose whole conduct, as it respects the late unhappy
differences, has been such as makes it impossible for me to do
otherwise than condemn it...

"You ask, 'Is there no ground for the charges of profusion, etc.,
preferred against Brother Marshman?' Brother Marshman has always
been ardently engaged in promoting the cause of God in India, and,
being of a very active mind, has generally been chosen by us to draw
up our Reports, to write many of our public letters, to draw up
plans for promoting the objects of the mission, founding and
managing schools, raising subscriptions, and other things of a like
nature; so that he has taken a more active part than Brother Ward or
myself in these public acts of the mission. These things placed him
in the foreground, and it has been no uncommon thing for him to bear
the blame of those acts which equally belong to Brother Ward and
myself, merely because he was the instrument employed in performing

"The charge of profusion brought against Dr. Marshman is more
extensive than you have stated in your letter. He is charged with
having his house superbly furnished, with keeping several vehicles
for the use of his family, and with labouring to aggrandise and
bring them into public notice to a culpable extent. The whole
business of furniture, internal economy, etc., of the Serampore
station, must exclusively belong to ourselves, and I confess I think
the question about it an unlovely one. Some person, we know not
whom, told some one, we know not whom, 'that he had been often at
Lord Hastings's table, but that Brother Marshman's table far
exceeded his.' I have also often been at Lord Hastings's table (I
mean his private table), and I do therefore most positively deny the
truth of the assertion; though I confess there is much domestic
plainness at the table of the Governor-General of India (though
nothing of meanness; on the contrary, everything is marked with a
dignified simplicity). I suspect the informant never was at Lord
Hastings's table, or he could have not been guilty of such
misrepresentation. Lord Hastings's table costs more in one day than
Brother Marshman's in ten.

"The following statement may explain the whole business of Brother
Marshman's furniture, etc., which you have all been so puzzled to
account for, and have certainly accounted for in a way that is not
the true one. We have, you know, a very large school, perhaps the
largest in India. In this school are children of persons of the
first rank in the country. The parents or guardians of these
children frequently call at the Mission-house, and common propriety
requires that they should be respectfully received, and invited to
take a breakfast or dinner, and sometimes to continue there a day or
two. It is natural that persons who visit the Mission-house upon
business superintended by Brother Marshman should be entertained at
his house rather than elsewhere. Till within the last four or five
years we had no particular arrangement for the accommodation of
visitors who came to see us; but as those who visited us on business
were entertained at Brother Marshman's, it appeared to be the most
eligible method to provide for the entertainment of other visitors
there also; but at that time Brother Marshman had not a decent table
for persons of the above description to sit down to. We, therefore,
voted him a sum to enable him to provide such articles as were
necessary to entertain them with decency; and I am not aware that he
has been profuse, or that he has provided anything not called for by
the rules of propriety. I have no doubt but Brother Ward can
enumerate and describe all these articles of furniture. It is,
however, evident that you must be very imperfect judges of their
necessity, unless you could at the same time form a just estimate of
the circumstances in which we stand. It ought also to be considered
that all these articles are public property, and always convertible
into their full value in cash. I hope, however, that things are not
yet come to that pass, that a man who, with his wife, has for
nineteen or twenty years laboured night and day for the mission, who
by their labour disinterestedly contribute between 2000 and 3000
rupees monthly to it, and who have made sacrifices which, if others
have not seen, Brother Ward and I have,--sacrifices which ought to
put to the blush all his accusers, who, notwithstanding their cries
against him, have not only supported themselves, but also have set
themselves up in a lucrative business at the Society's expense; and
who, even to this day, though they have two prosperous schools, and
a profitable printing-office, continue to receive their monthly
allowance, amounting (including Miss Chaffin's) to 700 rupees a
month from the Society; I feel indignant at their outcry on the
subject of expense, and I say, merely as a contrast to their
conduct, So did not Brother Marshman. Surely things are not come to
that pass, that he or any other brother must give an account to the
Society of every plate he uses, and every loaf he cuts.

"Till a very few years ago we had no vehicle except a single horse
chaise for me to go backwards and forwards to Calcutta. That was
necessarily kept on the opposite side of the river; and if the
strength of the horse would have borne it, could not have been used
for the purposes of health. Sister Marshman was seized with a
disease of the liver, a disease which proves fatal in three cases
out of four. Sister Ward was ill of the same disorder, and both of
them underwent a long course of mercurial treatment, as is usual in
that disease. Exercise was considered by the physicians as of the
first importance, and we certainly thought no expense too great to
save the valuable lives of our sisters. A single horse chaise, and
an open palanquin, called a Tonjon, were procured. I never ride out
for health; but usually spend an hour or two, morning and evening,
in the garden. Sister Ward was necessitated to visit England for
hers. Brother Ward had a saddle horse presented to him by a friend.
My wife has a small carriage drawn by a man. These vehicles were
therefore almost exclusively used by Brother Marshman's family.
When our brethren arrived from England they did not fail to put
this equipage into the account against Brother Marshman. They now
keep three single horse chaises, besides palanquins; but we do not
think they keep more than are necessary.

"Brother Marshman retains for the school a French master, a music
master, and a drawing master. The expenses of these are amply
repaid by the school, but Brother Marshman's children, and all those
belonging to the family, have the advantage of their instructions.
Brother Marshman's children are, however, the most numerous, and
envy has not failed to charge him with having retained them all for
the sake of his own children. Surely a man's caring for his
family's health and his children's education is, if a crime, a
venial one, and ought not to be held up to blacken his reputation.
Brother Marshman is no more perfect than other men, partakers like
him of the grace of God. His natural bias and habits are his own,
and differ as much from those of other men as theirs differ from one
another. I do not deny that he has an inclination to display his
children to advantage. This, however, is a foible which most fond
parents will be inclined to pardon. I wish I had half his piety,
energy of mind, and zeal for the cause of God. These excellencies,
in my opinion, so far overbalance all his defects that I am
constrained to consider him a Christian far above the common run. I
must now close this defence of Brother Marshman by repeating that
all matters of furniture, convenience, etc., are things belonging to
the economy of the station at Serampore, and that no one beside
ourselves has the smallest right to interfere therewith. The
Calcutta brethren are now acting on the same principle, and would
certainly repel with indignation any attempt made by us to regulate
their affairs.

"I have said that 'I never ride out for the sake of health'; and it
may therefore be inquired, 'Why are vehicles, etc., for the purpose
of health more necessary for the other members of the family than
for you?' I reply that my health is in general good, and probably
much benefited by a journey to and from Calcutta two or three times
a week. I have also a great fondness for natural science,
particularly botany and horticulture. These, therefore, furnish not
only exercise, but amusement for me. These amusements of mine are
not, however, enjoyed without expense, any more than those of my
brethren, and were it not convenient for Brother Marshman's accusers
to make a stepping-stone of me, I have no doubt but my collection of
plants, aviary, and museum, would be equally impeached as articles
of luxury and lawless expenses; though, except the garden, the whole
of these expenses are borne by myself.

"John Marshman is admitted a member of the union, but he had for
some time previously thereto been a member of the church. I
perceive plainly that all your objections to him have been excited
by the statements of the Calcutta brethren, which you certainly
ought to receive with much caution in all things which regard Bother
Marshman and his family. You observe that the younger brethren
especially look up to me with respect and affection. It may be so;
but I confess I have frequently thought that, had it been so, they
would have consulted me, or at least have mentioned to me the
grounds of their dissatisfaction before they proceeded to the
extremity of dividing the mission. When I engaged in the mission,
it was a determination that, whatever I suffered, a breach therein
should never originate with me. To this resolution I have hitherto
obstinately adhered. I think everything should be borne, every
sacrifice made, and every method of accommodation or reconciliation
tried, before a schism is suffered to take place...

"I disapprove as much of the conduct of our Calcutta brethren as it
is possible for me to disapprove of any human actions. The evil
they have done is, I fear, irreparable; and certainly the whole
might have been prevented by a little frank conversation with either
of us; and a hundredth part of that self-denial which I found it
necessary to exercise for the first few years of the mission, would
have prevented this awful rupture. I trust you will excuse my
warmth of feeling upon this subject, when you consider that by this
rupture that cause is weakened and disgraced, in the establishment
and promotion of which I have spent the best part of my life. A
church is attempted to be torn in pieces, for which neither I nor my
brethren ever thought we could do enough. We laboured to raise it:
we expended much money to accomplish that object; and in a good
measure saw the object of our desire accomplished. But now we are
traduced, and the church rent by the very men who came to be our
helpers. As to Brother Marshman, seriously, what do they want?
Would they attempt to deny his possessing the grace of God? He was
known to and esteemed by Brother Ryland as a Christian before he
left England. I have lived with him ever since his arrival in
India, and can witness to his piety and holy conduct. Would they
exclude him from the mission? Judge yourself whether it is comely
that a man, who has laboriously and disinterestedly served the
mission so many years--who has by his diligence and hard labour
raised the most respectable school in India, as well as given a tone
to all the others--who has unvaryingly consecrated the whole of that
income, as well as his other labours, to the cause of God in
India,--should be arraigned and condemned without a hearing by a few
young men just arrived, and one of whom had not been a month in the
country before he joined the senseless outcry? Or would they have
his blood? Judge, my dear brother, yourself, for I am ashamed to
say more on this subject.

"I need not say that circumstances must in a great measure determine
where missionaries should settle. The chief town of each of these
countries would be preferable, if other circumstances permit; but
sometimes Government would not allow this, and sometimes other
things may close the door. Missionaries however must knock loud and
push hard at the door, and if there be the smallest opening, must
force themselves in; and, once entered, put their lives in their
hands and exert themselves to the utmost in dependence upon divine
support, if they ever hope to do much towards evangelising the
heathen world. My situation in the college, and Brother Marshman's
as superintending the first academy in India, which, I likewise
observe, has been established and brought to its present flourishing
state wholly by his care and application, have made our present
situation widely different from what it was when first engaged in
the mission. As a missionary I could go in a straw hat and dine
with the judge of the district, and often did so; but as a Professor
in the College I cannot do so. Brother Marshman is placed in the
same predicament. These circumstances impose upon us a necessity of
making a different appearance to what we formerly did as simple
missionaries; but they furnish us with opportunities of speaking to
gentlemen of the first power and influence in government, upon
matters of the highest importance to the great work in which we are
engaged; and, as a proof that our opportunities of this nature have
not been in vain, I need only say that, in a conversation which I
had some time ago with one of the secretaries to Government, upon
the present favourable bias of government and the public in general
to favour all plans for doing good, he told me that he believed the
whole was owing to the prudent and temperate manner in which we had
acted; and that if we had acted with precipitancy and indiscretion,
he had every reason to believe the general feeling would have been
as hostile to attempts to do good as it is now favourable to them.

"I would not wish you to entertain the idea that we and our brethren
in Calcutta are resolved upon interminable hatred. On the contrary,
I think that things are gone as far as we may expect them to go; and
I now expect that the fire of contention will gradually go out. All
the distressing and disagreeable circumstances are, I trust, past;
and I expect we shall be in a little time on a more friendly
footing. Much of what has taken place originated in England.
Mistakes and false conclusions were followed by all the
circumstances I have detailed. I think the whole virulence of
opposition has now spent itself. Our brethren have no control over
us, nor we over them. And, if I am not mistaken, each side will
soon acknowledge that it has gone too far in some instances; and
ultimate good will arise from the evil I so much deplore.

"Having now written to you my whole sentiments upon the business,
and formerly to my very dear Brother Ryland, allow me to declare my
resolution not to write anything further upon the subject, however
much I may be pressed thereto. The future prosperity of the mission
does not depend upon the clearing up of every little circumstance to
the satisfaction of every captious inquirer, but upon the
restoration of mutual concord among us, which must be preceded by
admitting that we are all subject to mistake, and to be misled by
passion, prejudice, and false judgment. Let us therefore strive and
pray that the things which make for peace and those by which we may
edify one another may abound among us more and more. I am, my dear
brother, very affectionately, yours in our Lord Jesus Christ, W.

"14th May 1828.

"MY DEAR BROTHER ANDERSON--Yours by the Louisa, of October last,
came to hand a few days ago with the copies of Brother Marshman's
brief Memoir of the Serampore Mission. I am glad it is written in
so temperate and Christian a spirit, and I doubt not but it will be
ultimately productive of good effects. There certainly is a great
contrast between the spirit in which that piece is written and that
in which observations upon it, both in the Baptist and Particular
Baptist Magazines, are written. The unworthy attempts in those and
other such like pieces to separate Brother Marshman and me are truly
contemptible. In plain English, they amount to thus much--'The
Serampore Missionaries, Carey, Marshman, and Ward, have acted a
dishonest part, alias are rogues. But we do not include Dr. Carey
in the charge of dishonesty; he is an easy sort of a man, who will
agree to anything for the sake of peace, or in other words, he is a
fool. Mr. Ward, it is well known,' say they, 'was the tool of Dr.
Marshman, but he is gone from the present scene, and it is unlovely
to say any evil of the dead.' Now I certainly hold those persons'
exemption of me from the blame they attach to Brother Marshman in
the greatest possible contempt. I may have subscribed my name
thoughtlessly to papers, and it would be wonderful if there had been
no instance of this in so long a course of years. The great esteem
I had for the Society for many years, undoubtedly on more occasions
than one put me off my guard, and I believe my brethren too; so that
we have signed writings which, if we could have foreseen the events
of a few years, we should not have done. These, however, were all
against our own private interest, and I believe I have never been
called an easy fool for signing of them. It has only been since we
found it necessary to resist the claims of the Committee that I have
risen to this honour.

"It has also been hinted that I intend to separate from Brother
Marshman. I cannot tell upon what such hints or reports are
founded, but I assure you, in the most explicit manner, that I
intend to continue connected with him and Serampore as long as I
live; unless I should be separated from him by some unforeseen
stroke of Providence. There may be modifications of our union,
arising from circumstances; but it is my wish that it should remain
in all things essential to the mission as long as I live.

"I rejoice to say that there is very little of that spirit of
hostility which prevails in England in India, and I trust what still
remains will gradually decrease till scarcely the remembrance of it
will continue. Our stations, I mean those connected with Serampore,
are of great importance, and some of them in a flourishing state.
We will do all we can to maintain them, and I hope the friends to
the cause of God in Britain will not suffer them to sink for want of
that pecuniary help which is necessary. Indeed I hope we shall be
assisted in attempting other stations beside those already occupied;
and many such stations present themselves to my mind which nothing
prevents being immediately occupied but want of men and money. The
college will also require assistance, and I hope will not be without
it; I anticipate the time when its salutary operation in the cause
of God in India will be felt and acknowledged by all.

"These observations respecting my own conduct you are at liberty to
use as you please. I hope now to take my final leave of this
unpleasant subject, and have just room to say that I am very
affectionately yours, W. CAREY."

Throughout the controversy thus forced upon him, we find Dr. Carey's
references, in his unpublished letters to the brethren in Calcutta,
all in the strain of the following to his son Jabez:--

"15th August 1820.--This week we received letters from Mr. Marshman,
who had safely arrived at St. Helena. I am sure it will give you
pleasure to learn that our long-continued dispute with the younger
brethren in Calcutta is now settled. We met together for that
purpose about three weeks ago, and after each side giving up some
trifling ideas and expressions, came to a reconciliation, which, I
pray God, may be lasting. Nothing I ever met with in my life--and I
have met with many distressing things--ever preyed so much upon my
spirits as this difference has. I am sure that in all disputes very
many wrong things must take place on both sides for which both
parties ought to be humbled before God and one another.

"I wish you could succeed in setting up a few more
schools...Consider that and the spread of the gospel as the great
objects of your life, and try to promote them by all the wise and
prudent methods in your power. Indeed we must always venture
something for the sake of doing good. The cause of our Lord Jesus
Christ continues to prosper with us. I have several persons now
coming in who are inquirers; two or three of them, I hope, will be
this evening received into the Church. Excuse my saying more as my
room is full of people."

Eight years after, on the 17th April 1828, he thus censured Jabez in
the matter of the Society's action at home:--"From a letter of yours
to Jonathan, in which you express a very indecent pleasure at the
opposition which Brother Marshman has received, not by the Society
but by some anonymous writer in a magazine, I perceive you are
informed of the separation which has taken place between them and
us. What in that anonymous piece you call a 'set-down' I call a
'falsehood.' You ought to know that I was a party in all public
acts and writings, and that I never intend to withdraw from all the
responsibility connected therewith. I utterly despise all the
creeping, mean assertions of that party when they say they do not
include me in their censures, nor do I work for their praise.
According to their and according to your rejoicing...I am either a
knave or a fool--a knave if I joined with Brother Marshman; but if,
as those gentlemen say, and as you seem to agree with them, I was
only led as he pleased, and was a mere cat's-paw, then of course I
am a fool. In either way your thoughts are not very high as it
respects me. I do not wonder that Jonathan should express himself
unguardedly; his family connection with Mr. Pearce sufficiently
accounts for that. We have long been attacked in this
country--first by Mr. Adam,26 and afterwards by Dr. Bryce.27 Bryce
is now silenced by two or three pieces by John Marshman in his own
newspaper, the John Bull; and as to some of the tissues of falsehood
published in England, I shall certainly never reply to them, and I
hope no one else will. That cause must be bad which needs such
means to support it. I believe God will bring forth our
righteousness as the noonday."

On the 12th July 1828 the father again writes to his son Jabez
thus:--"Your apologies about Brother Marshman are undoubtedly the
best you can offer. I should be sorry to harbour hostile sentiments
against any man on the earth upon grounds so slight. Indeed, were
all you say matter of fact you ought to forgive it as God for
Christ's sake forgives us. We are required to lay aside all envy
and strife and animosities, to forgive each other mutually and to
love one another with a pure heart fervently. 'Thine own friend and
thy father's friend forsake not.'"




A college the fourth and perfecting corner-stone of the
mission--Carey on the importance of English in 1800--Anticipates
Duff's policy of undermining Brahmanism--New educational era begun
by the charter of 1813 and Lord Hastings--Plan of the Serampore
College in 1818--Anticipates the Anglo-Orientalism of the Punjab
University--The building described by John Marshman--Bishop
Middleton follows--The Scottish and other colleges--Action of the
Danish Government--The royal charter--Visit of Maharaja
Serfojee--Death of Ward, Charles Grant and Bentley--Bishop Heber and
his catholic letter--Dr. Carey's reply--Progress of the
college--Cause of its foundation--The college directly and
essentially a missionary undertaking--Action of the Brotherhood from
the first vindicated--Carey appeals to posterity--The college and
the systematic study of English--Carey author of the Grant in Aid
system--Economy in administering missions--The Serampore Mission has
eighteen stations and fifty missionaries of all kinds--Subsequent
history of the Serampore College to 1883.

The first act of Carey and Marshman when their Committee took up a
position of hostility to their self-denying independence, was to
complete and perpetuate the mission by a college. As planned by
Carey in 1793, the constitution had founded the enterprise on these
three corner-stones--preaching the Gospel in the mother tongue of
the people; translating the Bible into all the languages of Southern
and Eastern Asia; teaching the young, both heathen and Christian,
both boys and girls, in vernacular schools. But Carey had not been
a year in Serampore when, having built well on all three, he began
to see that a fourth must be laid some day in the shape of a
college. He and his colleagues had founded and supervised, by the
year 1818, no fewer than 126 native schools, containing some 10,000
boys, of whom more than 7000 were in and around Serampore. His work
among the pundit class, both in Serampore and in the college of Fort
William, and the facilities in the mission-house for training
natives, Eurasians, and the missionaries' sons to be preachers,
translators, and teachers, seemed to meet the immediate want. But
as every year the mission in all its forms grew and the experience
of its leaders developed, the necessity of creating a college staff
in a building adapted to the purpose became more urgent. Only thus
could the otherwise educated natives be reached, and the Brahmanical
class especially be permanently influenced. Only thus could a
theological institute be satisfactorily conducted to feed the native

On 10th October 1800 the missionaries had thus written home:--"There
appears to be a favourable change in the general temper of the
people. Commerce has roused new thoughts and awakened new energies;
so that hundreds, if we could skilfully teach them gratis, would
crowd to learn the English language. We hope this may be in our
power some time, and may be a happy means of diffusing the gospel.
At present our hands are quite full." A month after that Carey
wrote to Fuller:--"I have long thought whether it would not be
desirable for us to set up a school to teach the natives English. I
doubt not but a thousand scholars would come. I do not say this
because I think it an object to teach them the English tongue; but,
query, is not the universal inclination of the Bengalees to learn
English a favourable circumstance which may be improved to valuable
ends? I only hesitate at the expense." Thirty years after Duff
reasoned in the same way, after consulting Carey, and acted at once
in Calcutta.

By 1816, when, on 25th June, Carey wrote a letter, for his
colleagues and himself, to the Board of the American Baptist General
Convention, the great idea, destined slowly to revolutionise not
only India, but China, Japan, and the farther East, had taken this

"We know not what your immediate expectations are relative to the
Burman empire, but we hope your views are not confined to the
immediate conversion of the natives by the preaching of the Word.
Could a church of converted natives be obtained at Rangoon, it might
exist for a while, and be scattered, or perish for want of
additions. From all we have seen hitherto we are ready to think
that the dispensations of Providence point to labours that may
operate, indeed, more slowly on the population, but more effectually
in the end: as knowledge, once put into fermentation, will not only
influence the part where it is first deposited, but leaven the whole
lump. The slow progress of conversion in such a mode of teaching
the natives may not be so encouraging, and may require, in all, more
faith and patience; but it appears to have been the process of
things, in the progress of the Reformation, during the reigns of
Henry, Edward, Elizabeth, James, and Charles. And should the work
of evangelising India be thus slow and silently progressive, which,
however, considering the age of the world, is not perhaps very
likely, still the grand result will amply recompense us, and you,
for all our toils. We are sure to take the fortress, if we can but
persuade ourselves to sit down long enough before it. 'We shall reap
if we faint not.'

"And then, very dear brethren, when it shall be said of the seat of
our labours, the infamous swinging-post is no longer erected; the
widow burns no more on the funeral pile; the obscene dances and
songs are seen and heard no more; the gods are thrown to the moles
and to the bats, and Jesus is known as the God of the whole land;
the poor Hindoo goes no more to the Ganges to be washed from his
filthiness, but to the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness; the
temples are forsaken; the crowds say, 'Let us go up to the house of
the Lord, and He shall teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His
statutes;' the anxious Hindoos no more consume their property, their
strength, and their lives, in vain pilgrimages, but they come at
once to Him who can save to 'the uttermost'; the sick and the dying
are no more dragged to the Ganges, but look to the Lamb of God, and
commit their souls into His faithful hands; the children, no more
sacrificed to idols, are become 'the seed of the Lord, that He may
be glorified'; the public morals are improved; the language of
Canaan is learnt; benevolent societies are formed; civilisation and
salvation walk arm in arm together; the desert blossoms; the earth
yields her increase; angels and glorified spirits hover with joy
over India, and carry ten thousand messages of love from the Lamb in
the midst of the throne; and redeemed souls from the different
villages, towns, and cities of this immense country, constantly add
to the number, and swell the chorus of the redeemed, 'Unto Him that
loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, unto HIM be
the glory;'--when this grand result of the labours of God's servants
in India shall be realised, shall we then think that we have
laboured in vain, and spent our strength for nought? Surely not.
Well, the decree is gone forth! 'My word shall prosper in the thing
whereunto I sent it.'"

India was being prepared for the new missionary policy. On what we
may call its literary side Carey had been long busy. On its more
strictly educational side, the charter of 1813 had conceded what had
been demanded in vain by a too feeble public opinion in the charter
of 1793. A clause was inserted at the last moment declaring that a
sum of not less than a lakh of rupees (or ten thousand pounds) a
year was to be set apart from the surplus revenues, and applied to
the revival and improvement of literature and the encouragement of
the learned natives of India, and for the introduction and promotion
of a knowledge of the sciences among the inhabitants of the British
territories there. The clause was prompted by an Anglo-Indian of
oriental tastes, who hoped that the Brahman and his Veda might thus
be made too strong for the Christian missionary and the Bible as at
last tolerated under the 13th resolution. For this reason, and
because the money was to be paid only out of any surplus, the
directors and their friends offered no opposition. For the quarter
of a century the grant was given, and was applied in the spirit of
its proposer. But the scandals of its application became such that
it was made legally by Bentinck and Macaulay, and practically by
Duff, the fountain of a river of knowledge and life which is
flooding the East.

The first result of the liberalism of the charter of 1813 and the
generous views of Lord Hastings was the establishment in Calcutta by
the Hindoos themselves, under the influence of English secularists,
of the Hindoo, now the Presidency College. Carey and Marshman were
not in Calcutta, otherwise they must have realised even then what
they left to Duff to act on fourteen years after, the importance of
English not only as an educating but as a Christianising instrument.
But though not so well adapted to the immediate need of the
reformation which they had begun, and though not applied to the very
heart of Bengal in Calcutta, the prospectus of their "College for
the Instruction of Asiatic, Christian, and Other Youth in Eastern
Literature and European Science," which they published on the 15th
July 1818, sketched a more perfect and complete system than any
since attempted, if we except John Wilson's almost unsupported
effort in Bombay. It embraced the classical or learned languages of
the Hindoos and Mohammedans, Sanskrit and Arabic; the English
language and literature, to enable the senior students "to dive into
the deepest recesses of European science, and enrich their own
language with its choicest treasures"; the preparation of manuals of
science, philosophy, and history in the learned and vernacular
languages of the East; a normal department to train native teachers
and professors; as the crown of all, a theological institute to
equip the Eurasian and native Christian students, by a quite
unsectarian course of study, in apologetics, exegetics, and the
Bible languages, to be missionaries to the Brahmanical classes.
While the Government and the Scottish missionaries have in the
university and grant in aid systems since followed too exclusively
the English line, happily supplanting the extreme Orientalists, it
is the glory of the Serampore Brotherhood that they sought to apply
both the Oriental and the European, the one as the form, the other
as the substance, so as to evangelise and civilise the people
through their mother tongue. They were the Vernacularists in the
famous controversy between the Orientalists and the Anglicists
raised by Duff. In 1867 the present writer in vain attempted to
induce the University of Calcutta to follow them in this. It was
left to Sir Charles Aitchison, when he wielded the power and the
influence of the Lieutenant-Governor, to do in 1882 what the
Serampore College would have accomplished had its founders been
young instead of old men, by establishing the Punjab University.

Lord Hastings and even Sir John Malcolm took a personal interest in
the Serampore College. The latter, who had visited the missionaries
since his timid evidence before the House of Lords in 1813, wrote to
them:--"I wish I could be certain that your successors in the
serious task you propose would have as much experience as you and
your fellow-labourers at Serampore--that they would walk, not run,
in the same path--I would not then have to state one reserve." Lord
Hastings in Council passed an order encouraging the establishment of
a European Medical Professorship in Serampore College, and engaged
to assist in meeting the permanent expense of the chair when
established. His Excellency "interrupted pressing avocations" to
criticise both the architectural plan of the building and the
phraseology of the draft of the first report, and his suggestions
were followed. Adopting one of the Grecian orders as most suitable
to a tropical climate, the Danish Governor's colleague, Major
Wickedie, planned the noble Ionic building which was then, and is
still, the finest edifice of the kind in British India.

"The centre building, intended for the public rooms, was a hundred
and thirty feet in length, and a hundred and twenty in depth. The
hall on the ground floor, supported on arches, and terminated at the
south by a bow, was ninety-five feet in length, sixty-six in
breadth, and twenty in height. It was originally intended for the
library, but is now occupied by the classes. The hall above, of the
same dimensions and twenty-six feet in height, was supported by two
rows of Ionic columns; it was intended for the annual examinations.
Of the twelve side-rooms above and below, eight were of spacious
dimensions, twenty-seven feet by thirty-five. The portico which
fronted the river was composed of six columns, more than four feet
in diameter at the base. The staircase-room was ninety feet in
length, twenty-seven in width, and forty-seven in height, with two
staircases of cast-iron, of large size and elegant form, prepared at
Birmingham. The spacious grounds were surrounded with iron railing,
and the front entrance was adorned with a noble gate, likewise cast
at Birmingham...

"The scale on which it was proposed to establish the college, and to
which the size of the building was necessarily accommodated,
corresponded with the breadth of all the other enterprises of the
Serampore missionaries,--the mission, the translations, and the
schools. While Mr. Ward was engaged in making collections for the
support of the institution in England, he wrote to his brethren,
'the buildings you must raise in India;' and they determined to
respond to the call, and, if possible, to augment their donation
from £2500 to £8000, and to make a vigorous effort to erect the
buildings from their own funds. Neither the ungenerous suspicion,
nor the charge of unfaithfulness, with which their character was
assailed in England, was allowed to slacken the prosecution of this
plan. It was while their reputation was under an eclipse in
England, and the benevolent hesitated to subscribe to the society
till they were assured that their donations would not be mixed up
with the funds of the men at Serampore, that those men were engaged
in erecting a noble edifice for the promotion of religion and
knowledge, at their
own cost, the expense of which eventually grew under their hands to
the sum of £15,000. To the charge of endeavouring to alienate from
the society premises of the value of £3000, their own gift, they
replied by erecting a building at five times the cost, and vesting
it in eleven trustees,--seven besides themselves. It was thus they
vindicated the purity of their motives in their differences with the
society, and endeavoured to silence the voice of calumny. They were
the first who maintained that a college was an indispensable
appendage to an Indian mission."

The next to follow Carey in this was Bishop Middleton, who raised
funds to erect a chaste Gothic pile beside the Botanic Garden, since
to him the time appeared "to have arrived when it is desirable that
some missionary endeavours, at least, should have some connection
with the Church establishment." That college no longer exists, in
spite of the saintly scholarship of such Principals as Mill and Kay;
the building is now utilised as a Government engineering college.
But in Calcutta the Duff College, with the General Assembly's
Institution (now united as the Scottish Churches College), the
Cathedral Mission Divinity School, and the Bhowanipore Institution;
in Bombay the Wilson College, in Madras the Christian College, in
Nagpoor the Hislop College, in Agra St. John's College, in Lahore
the Church Mission Divinity School, in Lucknow the Reid College, and
others, bear witness to the fruitfulness of the Alma Mater of

The Serampore College began with thirty-seven students, of whom
nineteen were native Christians and the rest Hindoos. When the
building was occupied in 1821 Carey wrote to his son:--"I pray that
the blessing of God may attend it, and that it may be the means of
preparing many for an important situation in the Church of God...The
King of Denmark has written letters signed with his own hand to
Brothers Ward, Marshman, and myself, and has sent each of us a gold
medal as a token of his approbation. He has also made over the
house in which Major Wickedie resides, between Sarkies's house and
ours, to us three in perpetuity for the college. Thus Divine
generosity appears for us and supplies our expectations." The
missionaries had declined the Order of the Dannebrog. When, in
1826, Dr. Marshman visited Europe, one of his first duties was to
acknowledge this gift to Count Moltke, Danish Minister in London and
ancestor of the great strategist, and to ask for a royal charter.
The Minister and Count Schulin, whose wife had been a warm friend
of Mrs. Carey, happened to be on board the steamer in which Dr.
Marshman, accompanied by Christopher Anderson, sailed to Copenhagen.
Raske, the Orientalist, who had visited Serampore, was a Professor
in the University there. The vellum charter was prepared among
them, empowering the College Council, consisting of the Governor of
Serampore and the Brotherhood, to confer degrees like those of the
Universities of Copenhagen and Kiel, but not carrying the rank in
the State implied in Danish degrees unless with the sanction of the
Crown. The King, in the audience which he gave, informed Dr.
Marshman that, having in 1801 promised the mission protection, he
had hitherto refused to transfer Serampore to the East India
Company, since that would prevent him from keeping his word. When,
in 1845, the Company purchased both Tranquebar and Serampore, it
could be no longer dangerous to the Christian Mission, but the
Treaty expressly provided that the College should retain all its
powers, and its Christian character, under the Danish charter, which
it does. It was thus the earliest degree-conferring college in
Asia, but it has never exercised the power. Christian VIII., then
the heir to the throne, showed particular interest in the Bible
translation work of Carey. When, in 1884, the Evangelical Alliance
held its session in Copenhagen, and was received by Christian IX.,28
it did well, by special resolution, to express the gratitude of
Protestant Christendom to Denmark for such courageous and continued
services to the first Christian mission from England to India.

How Dr. Carey valued the gift of the King is seen in this writing,
on the lining of the case of the gold medal, dated 6th November

"It is my desire that this medal, and the letter of the King of


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