The Life of William Carey, Shoemaker & Missionary
George Smith

Part 7 out of 8

Denmark, which accompanied it, be given at my death to my dear son
Jonathan, that he may keep it for my sake."

The letter of King Frederic VI. is as follows:--


C'est avec beaucoup d'intérêt que nous avons appris le mérite qu'en
qualité de membre dirigeant de la Société de la Mission, vous avez
acquis, ainsi que vos co-directeurs, et les effèts salutaires que
vos louables travaux ont produits et partout où votre influence a pu
atteindre. Particulierement informés qu'en votre dite qualité vous
avez contribué a effectuer bien des choses utiles, dont
l'établissement à Frédéricsnagore a à se louer, et voulant vous
certifier que nous vous en avons gré, nous avons chargé le chef du
dit établissement,--notre Lieutenant-Colonel Kraefting, de vous
remettre cette lettre; et en même temps une medaille d'or, comme une
marque de notre bienveillance et de notre protection, que vous
assurera toujours une conduite meritoire.

"Sur ce nous prions Dieu de vous avoir dans Sa sainte et digne
garde.--Votre affectionné FREDERIC.

"Copenhague, ce 7 Juin 1820.

"Au Docteur et Professeur WILLIAM CAREY,

Membre dirigeant de la Société de la Mission à Frédéricsnagore."

The new College formed an additional attraction to visitors to the
mission. One of these, in 1821, was the Maharaja Serfojee, the
prince of Tanjore, whom Schwartz had tended, but who was on
pilgrimage to Benares. Hand in hand with Dr. Carey he walked
through the missionary workshop, noticed specially the pundits who
were busy with translation to which Lord Hastings had directed his
attention, and dilated with affectionate enthusiasm on the deeds and
the character of the apostle of South India. In 1823 cholera
suddenly cut off Mr. Ward in the midst of his labours. The year
after that Charles Grant died, leaving a legacy to the mission.
Almost his last act had been to write to Carey urging him to
publish a reply to the attack of the Abbé Dubois on all Christian
missions. Another friend was removed in Bentley, the scholar who
put Hindoo astronomy in its right place. Bishop Heber began his too
brief episcopate in 1824, when the college, strengthened by the
abilities of the Edinburgh professor, John Mack, was accomplishing
all that its founders had projected. The Bishop of all good
Christian men never penned a finer production--not even his
hymns--than this letter, called forth by a copy of the Report on the
College sent to him by Dr. Marshman:--

"I have seldom felt more painfully than while reading your appeal on
the subject of Serampore College, the unhappy divisions of those who
are the servants of the same Great Master! Would to God, my
honoured brethren, the time were arrived when not only in heart and
hope, but visibly, we shall be one fold, as well as under one
shepherd! In the meantime I have arrived, after some serious
considerations, at the conclusion that I shall serve our great cause
most effectually by doing all which I can for the rising
institutions of those with whom my sentiments agree in all things,
rather than by forwarding the labours of those from whom, in some
important points, I am conscientiously constrained to differ. After
all, why do we differ? Surely the leading points which keep us
asunder are capable of explanation or of softening, and I am
expressing myself in much sincerity of heart--(though, perhaps,
according to the customs of the world, I am taking too great a
freedom with men my superiors both in age and in talent), that I
should think myself happy to be permitted to explain, to the best of
my power, those objections which keep you and your brethren divided
from that form of church government which I believe to have been
instituted by the apostles, and that admission of infants to the
Gospel Covenants which seem to me to be founded on the expressions
and practice of Christ himself. If I were writing thus to worldly
men I know I should expose myself to the imputation of excessive
vanity or impertinent intrusion. But of you and Dr. Carey I am far
from judging as of worldly men, and I therefore say that, if we are
spared to have any future intercourse, it is my desire, if you
permit, to discuss with both of you, in the spirit of meekness and
conciliation, the points which now divide us, convinced that, if a
reunion of our Churches could be effected, the harvest of the
heathen would ere long be reaped, and the work of the Lord would
advance among them with a celerity of which we have now no

"I trust, at all events, you will take this hasty note as it is
intended, and believe me, with much sincerity, your friend and
servant in Christ, REGINALD CALCUTTA.

"3rd June 1824."

This is how Carey reciprocated these sentiments, when writing to Dr.

"SERAMPORE, 6th July 1824.

"I rejoice to say that there is the utmost harmony between all the
ministers of all denominations. Bishop Heber is a man of liberal
principles and catholic spirit. Soon after his arrival in the
country he wrote me a very friendly letter, expressing his wish to
maintain all the friendship with us which our respective
circumstances would allow. I was then confined, but Brother
Marshman called on him. As soon as I could walk without crutches I
did the same, and had much free conversation with him. Some time
after this he wrote us a very friendly letter, saying that it would
highly gratify him to meet Brother Marshman and myself, and discuss
in a friendly manner all the points of difference between himself
and us, adding that there was every reason to expect much good from
a calm and temperate discussion of these things, and that, if we
could at any rate come so near to each other as to act together, he
thought it would have a greater effect upon the spread of the gospel
among the heathen than we could calculate upon. He was then just
setting out on a visitation which will in all probability take a
year. We, however, wrote him a reply accepting his proposal, and
Brother Marshman expressed a wish that the discussion might be
carried on by letter, to which in his reply he partly consented. I
have such a disinclination to writing, and so little leisure for it,
that I wished the discussion to be viva voce; it will, however, make
little difference, and all I should have to say would be introduced
into the letter."

On the death of Mr. Ward and departure of Dr. Marshman for Great
Britain on furlough, after twenty-six years' active labours, his
son, Mr. John Marshman, was formally taken into the Brotherhood. He
united with Dr. Carey in writing to the Committee two letters, dated
21st January 1826 and 15th November 1827, which show the progress of
the college and the mission from the first as one independent
agency, and closed with Carey's appeal to the judgment of posterity.

"About seven years ago we felt convinced of the necessity of
erecting a College for native Christian youth, in order to
consolidate our plans for the spread of gospel truth in India; and,
as we despaired of being able to raise from public subscriptions a
sum equal to the expense of the buildings, we determined to erect
them from our own private funds. Up to the present date they have
cost us nearly £14,000, and the completion of them will require a
further sum of about £5000, which, if we are not enabled to advance
from our own purse, the undertaking must remain incomplete. With
this burden upon our private funds we find it impossible any longer
to meet, to the same extent as formerly, the demands of our
out-stations. The time is now arrived when they must cease to be
wholly dependent on the private donations of three individuals, and
must be placed on the strength of public contributions. As two out
of three of the members of our body are now beyond the age of
fifty-seven, it becomes our duty to place them on a more permanent
footing, as it regards their management, their support, and their
increase. We have therefore associated with ourselves, in the
superintendence of them, the Rev. Messrs. Mack and Swan, the two
present professors of the college, with the view of eventually
leaving them entirely in the hands of the body of professors, of
whom the constitution of the college provides that there shall be an
unbroken succession.

"To secure an increase of missionaries in European habits we have
formed a class of theological students in the college, under the
Divinity Professor. It contains at present six promising youths, of
whose piety we have in some cases undoubted evidence, in others
considerable ground for hope. The class will shortly be increased
to twelve, but none will be continued in it who do not manifest
undeniable piety and devotedness to the cause of missions. As we
propose to allow each student to remain on an average four years, we
may calculate upon the acquisition of two, and perhaps three,
additional labourers annually, who will be eminently fitted for
active service in the cause of missions by their natural familiarity
with the language and their acquisitions at college. This
arrangement will, we trust, secure the speedy accomplishment of the
plan we have long cherished, that of placing one missionary in each
province in Bengal, and eventually, if means be afforded, in

"As the completion of the buildings requires no public contribution,
the sole expense left on the generosity of its friends is that of
its existing establishment. Our subscriptions in India, with what
we receive as the interest of money raised in Britain and America,
average £1000 annually; about £500 more from England would cover
every charge, and secure the efficiency of the institution. Nor
shall we require this aid beyond a limited period.

"Of the three objects connected with the College, the education of
non-resident heathen students, the education of resident Christian
students, and the preparation of missionaries from those born in the
country, the first is not strictly a missionary object, the two
latter are intimately connected with the progress of the good cause.
The preparation of missionaries in the country was not so much
recommended as enforced by the great expense which attends the
despatch of missionaries from Europe. That the number of labourers
in this country must be greatly augmented, before the work of
evangelising the heathen can be said to have effectively commenced,
can admit of no doubt.

"The education of the increasing body of Native Christians likewise,
necessarily became a matter of anxiety. Nothing could be more
distressing than the prospect of their being more backward in mental
pursuits than their heathen neighbours. The planting of the gospel
in India is not likely to be accomplished by the exertions of a few
missionaries in solitary and barren spots in the country, without
the aid of some well-digested plan which may consolidate the
missionary enterprise, and provide for the mental and religious
cultivation of the converts. If the body of native Christians
required an educational system, native ministers, who must gradually
take the spiritual conduct of that body, demanded pre-eminent
attention. They require a knowledge of the ingenious system they
will have to combat, of the scheme of Christian theology they are to
teach, and a familiarity with the lights of modern science. We
cannot discharge the duty we owe as Christians to India, without
some plan for combining in the converts of the new religion, and
more especially in its ministers, the highest moral refinement of
the Christian character, and the highest attainable progress in the
pursuits of the mind.

"During the last ten years of entire independence the missionary
cause has received from the product of our labour, in the erection
of the college buildings, in the support of stations and schools,
and in the printing of tracts, much more than £23,000. The
unceasing calumny with which we have been assailed, for what has
been called 'our declaration of independence' (which, by the bye,
Mr. Fuller approved of our issuing almost with his dying breath), it
is beneath us to notice, but it has fully convinced us of the
propriety of the step. This calumny is so unreasonable that we
confidently appeal from the decision of the present age to the
judgment of posterity."

Under Carey, as Professor of Divinity and Lecturer on Botany and
Zoology, Mack and John Marshman, with pundits and moulavies, the
college grew in public favour, even during Dr. Marshman's absence,
while Mrs. Marshman continued to conduct the girls' school and
superintend native female education with a vigorous enthusiasm which
advancing years did not abate and misrepresentation in England only
fed. The difficulties in which Carey found himself had the happy
result of forcing him into the position of being the first to
establish practically the principle of the Grant in Aid system. Had
his Nonconformist successors followed him in this, with the same
breadth of view and clear distinction between the duty of aiding the
secular education, while giving absolute liberty to the spiritual,
the splendid legacy which he left to India would have been both
perpetuated and extended. As it is, it was left to his young
colleague, John Marshman, and to Dr. Duff, to induce Parliament, by
the charter of 1853, and the first Lord Halifax in the Educational
Despatch of 1854, to sanction the system of national education for
the multifarious classes and races of our Indian subjects, under
which secular instruction is aided by the state on impartial terms
according to its efficiency, and Christianity delights to take its
place, unfettered and certain of victory, with the Brahmanical and
aboriginal cults of every kind.

In 1826 Carey, finding that his favourite Benevolent Institution in
Calcutta was getting into debt, and required repair, applied to
Government for aid. He had previously joined the Marchioness of
Hastings in founding the Calcutta School Book and School Society,
and had thus been relieved of some of the schools. Government at
once paid the debt, repaired the building, and continued to give an
annual grant of £240 for many years. John Marshman did not think it
necessary, "to defend Dr. Carey from the charge of treason to the
principles of dissent in having thus solicited and accepted aid from
the state for an educational establishment; the repudiation of that
aid is a modern addition to those principles." He tells us that
"when conversation happened to turn upon this subject at Serampore,
his father was wont to excuse any warmth which his colleague might
exhibit by the humorous remark that renegades always fought hardest.
There was one question on which the three were equally
strenuous--that it was as much the duty of Government to support
education as to abstain from patronising missions."

A letter written in 1818 to his son William, then one of the
missionaries, shows with what jealous economy the founder of the
great modern enterprise managed the early undertakings.

"MY DEAR WILLIAM--Yours of the 3rd instant I have received, and must
say that it has filled me with distress. I do not know what the
allowance of 200 rupees includes, nor how much is allotted for
particular things; but it appears that Rs. 142:2 is expended upon
your private expenses, viz., 78:2 on table expenses, and 64 on
servants. Now neither Lawson nor Eustace have more than 140 rupees
for their allowance, separate from house rent, for which 80 rupees
each is allowed, and I believe all the brethren are on that, or a
lower allowance, Brother Yates excepted, who chooses for himself. I
cannot therefore make an application for more with any face. Indeed
we have no power to add or diminish salaries, though the Society
would agree to our doing so if we showed good reasons for it. I
believe the allowances of the missionaries from the London Society
are about the same, or rather less--viz. £200 sterling, or 132
rupees a month, besides extra expenses; so that your income, taking
it at 140 rupees a month, is quite equal to that of any other
missionary. I may also mention that neither Eustace nor Lawson can
do without a buggy, which is not a small expense.

"I suppose the two articles you have mentioned of table expenses and
servants include a number of other things; otherwise I cannot
imagine how you can go to that expense. When I was at Mudnabati my
income was 200 per month, and during the time I stayed there I had
saved near 2000 rupees. My table expenses scarcely ever amounted to
50 rupees, and though I kept a moonshi at 20 rupees and four
gardeners, yet my servants' wages did not exceed 60 rupees monthly.
I kept a horse and a farmyard, and yet my expenses bore no
proportion to yours. I merely mention this without any reflection
on you, or even a wish to do it; but I sincerely think your expenses
upon these two articles are very greater.--I am your affectionate
father, W. CAREY."

In 1825 Carey completed his great Dictionary of Bengali and English
in three quarto volumes, abridged two years afterwards. No
language, not even in Europe, could show a work of such industry,
erudition, and philological completeness at that time. Professor H.
H. Wilson declared that it must ever be regarded as a standard
authority, especially because of its etymological references to the
Sanskrit, which supplies more than three-fourths of the words; its
full and correct vocabulary of local terms, with which the author's
"long domestication amongst the natives" made him familiar, and his
unique knowledge of all natural history terms. The first copy which
issued from the press he sent to Dr. Ryland, who had passed away at
seventy-two, a month before the following letter was written:--

"June 7th, 1825.--On the 17th of August next I shall be sixty-four
years of age; and though I feel the enervating influence of the
climate, and have lost something of my bodily activity, I labour as
closely, and perhaps more so than I have ever done before. My
Bengali Dictionary is finished at press. I intend to send you a
copy of it by first opportunity, which I request you to accept as a
token of my unshaken friendship to you. I am now obliged, in my own
defence, to abridge it, and to do it as quickly as possible, to
prevent another person from forestalling me and running away with
the profits.

"On Lord's day I preached a funeral sermon at Calcutta for one of
our deacons, who died very happily; administered the Lords' Supper,
and preached again in the evening. It was a dreadfully hot day, and
I was much exhausted. Yesterday the rain set in, and the air is
somewhat cooled. It is still uncertain whether Brothers Judson and
Price are living. There was a report in the newspaper that they
were on their way to meet Sir Archibald Campbell with proposals of
peace from the Burman king; but no foundation for the report can be
traced out. Living or dead they are secure."

On hearing of the death of Dr. Ryland, he wrote:--"There are now in
England very few ministers with whom I was acquainted. Fuller,
Sutcliff, Pearce, Fawcett, and Ryland, besides many others whom I
knew, are gone to glory. My family connections also, those excepted
who were children when I left England, or have since that time been
born, are all gone, two sisters only excepted. Wherever I look in
England I see a vast blank; and were I ever to revisit that dear
country I should have an entirely new set of friendships to form.
I, however, never intended to return to England when I left it, and
unless something very unexpected were to take place I certainly
shall not do it. I am fully convinced I should meet with many who
would show me the utmost kindness in their power, but my heart is
wedded to India, and though I am of little use I feel a pleasure in
doing the little I can, and a very high interest in the spiritual
good of this vast country, by whose instrumentality soever it is

By 1829 the divinity faculty of the College had become so valuable a
nursery of Eurasian and Native missionaries, and the importance of
attracting more of the new generation of educated Hindoos within its
influence had become so apparent that Oriental gave place to English
literature in the curriculum. Mr. Rowe, as English tutor, took his
place in the staff beside Dr. Carey, Dr. Marshman, Mr. Mack, and Mr.
John Marshman. Hundreds of native youths flocked to the classes.
Such was the faith, such the zeal of Carey, that he continued to
add new missions to the ten of which the College was the life-giving
centre; so that when he was taken away he left eighteen, under
eleven European, thirteen Eurasian, seventeen Bengali, two
Hindostani, one Telugoo, and six Arakanese missionaries. When Mr.
David Scott, formerly a student of his own in Fort William College,
and in 1828 Commissioner of Assam (then recently annexed to the
empire), asked for a missionary, Carey's importunity prevailed with
his colleagues only when he bound himself to pay half the cost by
stinting his personal expenditure. Similarly it was the generous
action of Mr. Garrett, when judge of Barisal, that led him to send
the best of his Serampore students to found that afterwards famous

Having translated the Gospels into the language of the Khasias in
the Assam hills, he determined in 1832 to open a new mission at the
village of Cherra, which the Serampore Brotherhood were the first to
use as a sanitarium in the hot season. For this he gave up £60 of
his Government pension and Mr. Garrett gave a similar sum. He sent
another of his students, Mr. Lisk, to found the mission, which
prospered until it was transferred to the Welsh Calvinists, who have
made it the centre of extensive and successful operations. Thus the
influence of his middle age and old age in the Colleges of Fort
William and of Serampore combined to make the missionary patriarch
the father of two bands--that of the Society and that of the

Dr. Carey's last report, at the close of 1832, was a defence of what
has since been called, and outside of India and of Scotland has too
often been misunderstood as, educational missions or Christian
Colleges. To a purely divinity college for Asiatic Christians he
preferred a divinity faculty as part of an Arts and Science
College,29 in which the converts study side by side with their
inquiring countrymen, the inquirers are influenced by them as well
as by the Christian teaching and secular teaching in a Christian
spirit, and the Bible consecrates the whole. The United Free Church
of Scotland has, alike in India, China and Africa, proved the
wisdom, the breadth, and the spiritual advantage of Carey's policy.
When the Society opposed him, scholars like Mack from Edinburgh and
Leechman from Glasgow rejoiced to work out his Paul-like conception.
When not only he, but Dr. Marshman, had passed away Mack bravely
held aloft the banner they bequeathed, till his death in 1846. Then
John Marshman, who in 1835 had begun the Friend of India as a weekly
paper to aid the College, transferred the mission to the Society
under the learned W. H. Denham. When in 1854 a new generation of
the English Baptists accepted the College also as their own, it
received a Principal worthy to succeed the giants of those days, the
Rev. John Trafford, M.A., a student of Foster's and of Glasgow
University. For twenty-six years he carried out the principles of
Carey. On his retirement the College as such was suspended in the
year 1883, and in the same building a purely native Christian
Training Institution took its place. There, however, the many
visitors from Christendom still found the library and museum; the
Bibles, grammars, and dictionaries; the natural history collections,
and the Oriental MSS.; the Danish Charter, the historic portraits,
and the British Treaty; as well as the native Christian classes--all
of which re-echo William Carey's appeal to posterity.



The Danish charter--The British treaty--Growth of native Christian
community--Lord Minto's concession of self-governing
privileges--Madras Decennial Conference and Serampore
degrees--Proposed reorganisation of College so as to teach and
examine for B.D. and other degrees--Appeal for endowments of Carey's
Christian University

Attention has already been directed to the far-seeing plans which
Carey laid down for Serampore College. It is a pleasure to record
that while this volume is in the press (1909), a scheme is being
promoted by the College Council for the reorganisation of the
College on the lines of Carey's ideal, with a view to making it a
centre of higher ministerial training for all branches of the Indian

It will be remembered that in 1827 the College received from
Friedrich VI. a Royal Charter, empowering it to confer degrees, and
giving to it all the rights which are possessed by Western
Universities. Under Treaty dated the 6th October, 1845, the King of
Denmark agreed to transfer to the Governor-General of India, Lord
Hardinge, G.C.B., for the sum of £125,000, the towns of Tranquebar,
Frederiksnagore or Serampore,30 and the old factory site at
Balasore. Article 6 of this treaty provides that "the rights and
immunities granted to the Serampore College by Royal Charter, of
date 23rd of February, 1827, shall not be interfered with, but
continue in force in the same manner as if they had been obtained by
a Charter from the British Government, subject to the General Law of
British India."31

For lack of an endowment sufficient to maintain the teaching staff
required, and to establish the necessary scholarships, the College
has never been fully developed on University lines. Since 1883 it
has been used as a training Institution for preachers and teachers
for the Bengal field of the Baptist Missionary Society. Meanwhile
in the century since Carey's statesman-like ideal was sketched,
under the providence of God there have been two notable developments
in the conditions of Indian life--(1) the educated Christian natives
of India, from Cape Comorin to Peshawar, have grown, and continue to
grow, in numbers, in character, and in influence, with a rapidity
pronounced marvellous by the official report of the Census of 1901;
(2) the three hundred millions of the peoples of India have, by the
frank concession of the Earl of Minto and his advisers, and the
sanction of Viscount Morley and Parliament, received a virtual
constitution, which recognises their fitness for self-governing
rights under the benevolent rule of King Edward VII. and his Viceroy
in Council. Christianity, and the leaven of the more really
educated Christian natives, will alone moralise and loyalise the
peoples of India, and prepare future generations for a healthy
independence, material and political.

As they have watched the lines along which these developments have
proceeded, the leaders of the missionary enterprise have become more
and more convinced that the realisation of Carey's ideal has been
too long delayed, and that the influence of the Christian community
on the great movements of Indian thought has suffered in
consequence. In particular, while the need for highly-equipped
Indian preachers, evangelists and leaders, is far more urgent now
even than it was in Carey's day, the most experienced missionaries
of all societies are far from satisfied with the present level of
theological education in the Indian Church. They are convinced that
the time has come to reorganise the whole system of ministerial
training, and to secure for the study of Christian Theology in India
that academic recognition which it has enjoyed for centuries in
Western lands. Since the British Government is pledged to
neutrality in religious matters, it is unable to sanction the
establishment of Divinity faculties, in any of the State
Universities, Hence the Decennial Missionary Conference,
representing all the Protestant Missionary Societies working in
India, meeting in Madras in December 1902, appointed a Committee "to
confer with the Council of the Serampore College, through the
Committee of the London Baptist Missionary Society, to ascertain
whether they are prepared to delegate the degree-conferring powers
of the Charter of that College to a Senate or Faculty,
representative of the various Protestant Christian Churches and
Societies working in India."

The College Council (of which Meredith Townsend, Esq., is Master,
and Alfred Henry Baynes, Esq., F.R.G.S., is Secretary), has taken
this request into careful consideration, and after being assured by
the highest legal opinion that the Charter is still valid, has
resolved to do everything in its power to carry out the suggestions
of the Decennial Conference. They realise, however, that if the
degree-conferring powers of the Charter are to be used, the College
itself must be raised to the highest standard of efficiency as a
Teaching Institution, and its permanence must be guaranteed by an
adequate endowment.

The Council has felt that the attainment of these two objects is
possible only through a union of the forces of the various
Protestant Christian Churches working in India. The result has been
the adoption of a wise and catholic project of reorganisation, under
which it is hoped that Serampore will become a great
interdenominational College of University rank, giving a theological
training up to the standard of the London B.D., conferring its own
divinity degrees, and maintaining an Arts and Science department,
for the present at least affiliated to the Calcutta University. It
is justly claimed that such a Christian University at Serampore will
both unify and raise the standard of theological education in the
Indian Church, helping to build the Eastern structure of Christian
thought and life on the one Foundation of Jesus Christ, the Word of

The scheme which the Council has sanctioned contemplates the
permanent endowment of the requisite professorships and
scholarships. The College building will provide sufficient
class-room accommodation, but it will be necessary to secure
additional land, and to erect houses for the staff and hostels for
the students. An immediate endowment of £250,000 is aimed at with a
view of establishing a well-equipped theological faculty, with a
preliminary department in Arts and Sciences. The Council, however,
is not without hope that in due time Carey's noble vision of a great
Christian University at Serampore conferring its own degrees, not
only in theology but in all branches of useful learning, may
powerfully appeal to some of the merchant princes of the West. It is
estimated that the sum of £2,000,000 would be required for this
equipment and endowment of the University on this larger scale. The
great missionary Churches and Societies look favourably on the
proposal, initiated by their own missionaries, to co-operate with
Carey's more immediate representatives in realising and applying his
ideal which is bound to expand and grow as India becomes

The members of the College Council maintain that, in view of the
world-wide influence of the modern missionary movement, inaugurated
by William Carey, a movement that has been so beneficial both to the
Church at home and to non-Christian nations, there is no institution
that has greater historical and spiritual claims upon modern
philanthropy than Serampore, and they believe that there are large
numbers of men and women in Great Britain, America, India and other
lands who will consider it a sacred privilege to have their names
inscribed with those of Carey, Marshman and Ward on the walls of
Serampore College as its second founders.

The Council is doing all within its power to reorganise the College
on the broadest possible basis, believing that an institution with
such inspiring traditions and associations should be utilised in the
interests, not merely of one denomination, but of the whole Church
in India and the nation. Up to the present, the Council, though
legally an entirely independent body, has worked in the closest
association with the Baptist Missionary Society's Committee. But
now with the fullest sympathy both of the Baptist Missionaries on
the field and the Committee in England, it is also inviting the
co-operation of all evangelical Christian bodies in the work of
Serampore College. It is prepared to welcome as full professors of
the College, in Arts and Theology, representatives of other
evangelical missions, who shall have special superintendence of the
students belonging to their respective denominations, and be free to
give them such supplementary instruction as may be thought
necessary. All professors without distinction of denomination will
share equally in the local management of the affairs of the College.
The final authority must, in accordance with the Charter, remain in
the hands of the College Council, but in order to admit of the due
representation upon the Council of the various evangelical bodies
which may co-operate, the present members of Council have, with the
hearty concurrence of the Baptist Missionary Society's Committee,
approved the suggestion that application should be made to the
Indian Legislature for powers to enlarge its membership.

The Honorary Secretary of the College Council, A. H. Baynes, Esq.,
19 Furnival Street, London, E.C., will be glad to supply further
information, or to receive contributions towards the Fund for the
endowment and equipment of the College.

In view of the conditions at present existing in India, this appeal
should be of interest not only to friends of Christian missions, but
to philanthropists generally, for a Christian University, conducted
on the broad and catholic principles laid down by Carey,
supplementary but in no way antagonistic to the existing
Universities, will be a most effective instrument for permeating the
political and social ideals of the youth of India with the spirit of
Christ. This is a matter that deeply concerns, not only the
Missionary, but also the statesman, the merchant, and all true
friends of India of whatever race or creed.

In all the romance of Christian Missions, from Iona to Canterbury,
there is no more evident example of the working of the Spirit of God
with the Church, than the call of Carey and the foundation of
Serampore College under Danish Charter and British treaty, making it
the only University with full powers to enable the whole Reformed
Church in India to work out its own theological system and Christian




The college and mission stripped of all their funds--Failure of the
six firms for sixteen millions--Carey's official income reduced from
£1560 to £600--His Thoughts and Appeal published in England--His
vigour at seventy--Last revision of the Bengali Bible--Final edition
of the Bengali New Testament--Carey rejoices in the reforms of Lord
William Bentinck's Government--In the emancipation of the
slaves--Carey sketched by his younger contemporaries--His latest
letters and last message to Christendom--Visits of Lady William
Bentinck and Bishop Daniel Wilson--Marshman's affection and promise
as to the garden--The English mail brings glad news a fortnight
before his death--His last Sabbath--He dies--Is buried--His tomb
among his converts--His will--The Indian press on his poverty and
disinterestedness--Dr. Marshman and Mack, Christopher Anderson and
John Wilson of Bombay on his character--His influence still as the
founder of missions--Dr. Cox and Robert Hall on Carey as a
man--Scotland's estimate of the father of the Evangelical Revival
and its foreign missions.

The last days of William Carey were the best. His sun went down in
all the splendour of a glowing faith and a burning self-sacrifice.
Not in the penury of Hackleton and Moulton, not in the hardships of
Calcutta and the Soondarbans, not in the fevers of the swamps of
Dinapoor, not in the apprehensions twice excited by official
intolerance, not in the most bitter sorrow of all--the sixteen
years' persecution by English brethren after Fuller's death, had the
father of modern missions been so tried as in the years 1830-1833.
Blow succeeded blow, but only that the fine gold of his trust, his
humility, and his love might be seen to be the purer.

The Serampore College and Mission lost all the funds it had in
India. By 1830 the financial revolution which had laid many houses
low in Europe five years before, began to tell upon the merchant
princes of Calcutta. The six firms, which had developed the trade
of Northern India so far as the Company's monopolies allowed, had
been the bankers of the Government itself, of states like
Haidarabad, and of all the civil and military officials, and had
enriched a succession of partners for half a century, fell one by
one--fell for sixteen millions sterling among them. Palmer and Co.
was the greatest; the house at one time played a large part in the
history of India, and in the debates and papers of Parliament. Mr.
John Palmer, a personal friend of the Serampore men, had advanced
them money at ten per cent. four years previously, when the
Society's misrepresentation had done its worst. The children in the
Eurasian schools, which Dr. and Mrs. Marshman conducted with such
profit to the mission, depended chiefly on funds deposited with this
firm. It suddenly failed for more than two millions sterling.
Although the catastrophe exposed the rottenness of the system of
credit on which commerce and banking were at that time conducted, in
the absence of a free press and an intelligent public opinion, the
alarm soon subsided, and only the more business fell to the other
firms. But the year 1833 had hardly opened when first the house of
Alexander and Co., then that of Mackintosh and Co., and then the
three others, collapsed without warning. The English in India,
officials and merchants, were reduced to universal poverty. Capital
disappeared and credit ceased at the very time that Parliament was
about to complete the partial concession of freedom of trade made by
the charter of 1813, by granting all Carey had argued for, and
allowing Europeans to hold land.

The funds invested for Jessor and Delhi; the legacy of Fernandez,
Carey's first convert and missionary; his own tenths with which he
supported three aged relatives in England; the property of the
partner of his third marriage, on whom the money was settled, and
who survived him by a year; the little possessed by Dr. Marshman,
who had paid all his expenses in England even while working for the
Society--all was swept away. Not only was the small balance in hand
towards meeting the college and mission expenditure gone, but it was
impossible to borrow even for a short time. Again one of Dr.
Carey's old civilian students came to the rescue. Mr. Garrett,
grandson of Robert Raikes who first began Sunday schools, pledged
his own credit with the Bank of Bengal, until Samuel Hope of
Liverpool, treasurer of the Serampore Mission there, could be
communicated with. Meanwhile the question of giving up any of the
stations or shutting the college was not once favoured. "I have seen
the tears run down the face of the venerable Dr. Carey at the
thought of such a calamity," wrote Leechman; "were it to arrive we
should soon have to lay him in his grave." When the interest of the
funds raised by Ward in America ceased for a time because of the
malicious report from England that it might be applied by Dr.
Marshman to the purposes of family aggrandisement, Carey replied in
a spirit like that of Paul under a similar charge: "Dr. Marshman is
as poor as I am, and I can scarcely lay by a sum monthly to relieve
three or four indigent relatives in Europe. I might have had large
possessions, but I have given my all, except what I ate, drank, and
wore, to the cause of missions, and Dr. Marshman has done the same,
and so did Mr. Ward."

Carey's trust in God, for the mission and for himself, was to be
still further tried. On 12th July 1828 we find him thus writing
from Calcutta to Jabez:--"I came down this morning to attend Lord W.
Bentinck's first levée. It was numerously attended, and I had the
pleasure of seeing there a great number of gentlemen who had
formerly studied under me, and for whom I felt a very sincere
regard. I hear Lady Bentinck is a pious woman, but have not yet
seen her. I have a card to attend at her drawing-room this evening,
but I shall not go, as I must be at home for the Sabbath, which is
to-morrow." It soon fell to Lord William Bentinck to meet the
financial consequences of his weak predecessor's administration.
The College of Fort William had to be sacrificed. Metcalfe and
Bayley, Carey's old students whom he had permanently influenced in
the higher life, were the members of council, and he appealed to
them. They sent him to the good Governor-General, to whose sympathy
he laid bare all the past and present of the mission's finance. He
was told to have no fear, and indeed the Council held a long sitting
on this one matter. But from June 1830 the college ceased to be a
teaching, and became an examining body. When the salary was reduced
one-half, from Rs. 1000 a month, the Brotherhood met to pray for
light and strength. Mr. Robinson, the Java missionary who had
attached himself to Serampore, and whose son long did good service
as a Bengali scholar and preacher, gives us this glimpse of its
inner life at this time:--

"The two old men were dissolved in tears while they were engaged in
prayer, and Dr. Marshman in particular could not give expressions to
his feelings. It was indeed affecting to see these good old men,
the fathers of the mission, entreating with tears that God would not
forsake them now grey hairs were come upon them, but that He would
silence the tongue of calumny, and furnish them with the means of
carrying on His own cause."

They sent home an appeal to England, and Carey himself published
what is perhaps the most chivalrous, just, and weighty of all his
utterances on the disagreeable subject--Thoughts upon the
Discussions which have arisen from the Separation between the
Baptist Missionary Society and the Serampore Missions. "From our age
and other circumstances our contributions may soon cease. We have
seen a great work wrought in India, and much of it, either directly
or indirectly, has been done by ourselves. I cannot, I ought not to
be indifferent about the permanency of this work, and cannot
therefore view the exultation expressed at the prospect of our
resources being crippled otherwise than being of a character too
satanic to be long persisted in by any man who has the love of God
in his heart."

The appeal to all Christians for "a few hundred pounds per annum"
for the mission station closed thus: "But a few years have passed
away since the Protestant world was awakened to missionary effort.
Since that time the annual revenues collected for this object have
grown to the then unthought-of sum of £400,000. And is it
unreasonable to expect that some unnoticeable portion of this should
be intrusted to him who was amongst the first to move in this
enterprise and to his colleagues?" The Brotherhood had hardly
despatched this appeal to England with the sentence, "Our present
incomes even are uncertain," when the shears of financial reduction
cut off Dr. Carey's office of Bengali translator to Government,
which for eight years had yielded him Rs. 300 a month. But such was
his faith this final stroke called forth only an expression of
regret that he must reduce his contributions to the missionary cause
by so much. He was a wonder to his colleagues, who wrote of him:
"Though thus reduced in his circumstances the good man, about to
enter on his seventieth year, is as cheerful and as happy as the day
is long. He rides out four or five miles every morning, returning
home by sunrise; goes on with the work of translation day by day;
gives two lectures on divinity and one on natural history every week
in the college, and takes his turn of preaching both in Bengali and
in English."

When the Christian public responded heartily to his appeal Carey was
loud and frequent in his expressions of gratitude to God, who, "in
the time of our great extremity, appeared and stirred up His people
thus willingly to offer their substance for His cause." With
respect to myself, I consider my race as nearly run. The days of
our years are three score years and ten, and I am now only three
months short of that age, and repeated bilious attacks have weakened
my constitution. But I do not look forward to death with any
painful anticipations. I cast myself on and plead the efficacy of
that atonement which will not fail me when I need it."

Dr. Marshman gives us a brighter picture of him. "I met with very
few friends in England in their seventieth year so lively, as free
from the infirmities of age, so interesting in the pulpit, so
completely conversible as he is now." The reason is found in the
fact that he was still useful, still busy at the work he loved most
of all. He completed his last revision of the entire Bible in
Bengali--the fifth edition of the Old Testament and the eighth
edition of the New--in June 1832. Immediately thereafter, when
presiding at the ordination of Mr. Mack as co-pastor with Dr.
Marshman and himself over the church at Serampore, he took with him
into the pulpit the first copy of the sacred volume which came from
the binder's hands, and addressed the converts and their children
from the words of Simeon--"Lord now lettest Thou Thy servant depart
in peace, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation." As the months
went on he carried through the press still another and improved
edition of the New Testament, and only then he felt and often said
that the work of his heart was done.

He had other sources of saintly pleasure as he lay meditating on the
Word, and praising God for His goodness to the college and the
mission stations increased to nineteen by young Sir Henry Havelock,
who founded the church at Agra. Lord William Bentinck, having begun
his reign with the abolition of the crime of suttee, was, with the
help of Carey's old students, steadily carrying out the other
reforms for which in all his Indian career the missionary had prayed
and preached and published. The judicial service was reorganised so
as to include native judges. The uncovenanted civil service was
opened to all British subjects of every creed. The first act of
justice to native Christians was thus done, so that he wrote of the
college:--"The students are now eligible to every legal appointment
in India which a native can hold; those who may possess no love for
the Christian ministry have the prospect of a profitable profession
as advocates in the judicial courts, and the hope of rising to posts
of honourable distinction in their native land." The Hindoo law of
inheritance which the Regulating Act of Parliament had so covered
that it was used to deprive converts to Christianity of all civil
rights, was dealt with so far as a local regulation could do so, and
Carey, advised by such an authority as Harington, laid it on his
successor in the apostolate, the young Alexander Duff, to carry the
act of justice out fully, which was done under the Marquis of
Dalhousie. The orders drawn up by Charles Grant's sons at last, in
February 1833, freed Great Britain from responsibility for the
connection of the East India Company with Temple and mosque
endowments and the pilgrim tax.

His son Jonathan wrote this of him two years after his death:--

"In principle my father was resolute and firm, never shrinking from
avowing and maintaining his sentiments. He had conscientious
scruples against taking an oath; and condemned severely the manner
in which oaths were administered, and urged vehemently the propriety
of altogether dispensing with them. I remember three instances in
which he took a conspicuous part in regard to oaths, such as was
characteristic of the man. On one occasion, when a respectable
Hindoo servant of the college of Fort William, attached to Dr.
Carey's department, was early one morning proceeding to the Ganges
to bathe, he perceived a dead body lying near the road; but it being
dark, and no person being present, he passed on, taking no further
notice of the circumstance. As he returned from the Ganges after
sunrise, he saw a crowd near the body, and then happened to say to
one of the watchmen present that in the morning he saw the body on
the other side of the road. The watchman took him in custody, as a
witness before the coroner; but, when brought before the coroner, he
refused to take an oath, and was, consequently, committed to prison
for contempt. The Hindoo being a respectable person, and never
having taken an oath, refused to take any nourishment in the prison.
In this state he continued a day and a half, my father being then
at Serampore; but upon his coming to Calcutta, the circumstances
were mentioned to him. The fact of the man having refused to take
an oath was enough to make him interest himself in his behalf. He
was delighted with the resolution the man took--rather to go to
prison than take an oath; and was determined to do all he could to
procure his liberation. He first applied to the coroner, but was
directed by him to the sheriff. To that functionary he proceeded,
but was informed by him that he could make no order on the subject.
He then had an interview with the then chief judge, by whose
interference the man was set at liberty.

"Another instance relates to him personally. On the occasion of his
last marriage, the day was fixed on which the ceremony was to take
place--friends were invited--and all necessary arrangements made;
but, three or four days prior to the day fixed, he was informed that
it would be necessary for him to obtain a licence, in doing which,
he must either take an oath or have banns published. To taking an
oath he at once objected, and applied to the then senior judge, who
informed him that, as he was not a quaker, his oath was
indispensable; but, rather than take an oath, he applied to have the
banns published, and postponed the arrangements for his marriage for
another three weeks.

"The third instance was as follows:--It was necessary, in a certain
case, to prove a will in court, in which the name of Dr. Carey was
mentioned, in connection with the Serampore missionaries as
executors. An application was made by one of his colleagues, which
was refused by the court, on account of the vagueness of the terms,
'Serampore missionaries;' but as Dr. Carey's name was specifically
mentioned, the court intimated that they would grant the application
if made by him. The communication was made: but when he was
informed that an oath was necessary, he shrunk with abhorrence from
the idea; but after much persuasion, he consented to make the
application, if taking an oath would be dispensed with. He did
attend, and stated his objections to the then chief judge, which
being allowed, his affirmation was received and recorded by the

"The duties connected with the College of Fort William afforded him
a change of scene, which relieved his mind, and gave him
opportunities of taking exercise, and conduced much to his health.
During the several years he held the situation of professor to the
college, no consideration would allow him to neglect his attendance;
and though he had to encounter boisterous weather in crossing the
river at unseasonable hours, he was punctual in his attendance, and
never applied for leave of absence. And when he was qualified by
the rules of the service to retire on a handsome pension, he
preferred being actively employed in promoting the interests of the
college, and remained, assiduously discharging his duties, till his
department was abolished by Government. The business of the college
requiring his attendance in Calcutta, he became so habituated to his
journeys to and fro, that at his age he painfully felt the
retirement he was subjected to when his office ceased. After this
circumstance his health rapidly declined; and though he occasionally
visited Calcutta, he complained of extreme debility. This increased
daily, and made him a constant sufferer; until at length he was not
able to leave his house."

Nor was it in India alone that the venerable saint found such causes
of satisfaction. He lived long enough to thank God for the
emancipation of the slaves by the English people, for which he had
prayed daily for fifty years.

We have many sketches of the Father of English Missions in his later
years by young contemporaries who, on their first arrival in Bengal,
sought him out. In 1824 Mr. Leslie, an Edinburgh student, who
became in India the first of Baptist preachers, and was the means of
the conversion of Henry Havelock who married Dr. Marshman's youngest
daughter, wrote thus of Carey after the third great illness of his
Indian life:--

"Dr. Carey, who has been very ill, is quite recovered, and bids fair
to live many years; and as for Dr. Marshman, he has never known
ill-health is, during the whole period of his residence in India.
They are both active to a degree which you would think impossible
in such a country. Dr. Carey is a very equable and cheerful old
man, in countenance very like the engraving of him with his pundit,
though not so robust as he appears to be there. Next to his
translations Botany is his grand study. He has collected every
plant and tree in his garden that will possibly grow in India, and
is so scientific withal that he calls everything by its classical
name. If, therefore, I should at any time blunder out the word
Geranium, he would say Pelargonium, and perhaps accuse me of
ignorance, or blame me for vulgarity. We had the pleasure of
hearing him preach from Rom. vii. 13, when he gave us an excellent
sermon. In manner he is very animated, and in style very
methodical. Indeed he carries method into everything he does;
classification is his grand hobby, and wherever anything can be
classified, there you find Dr. Carey; not only does he classify and
arrange the roots of plants and words, but visit his dwelling and
you find he has fitted up and classified shelves full of minerals,
stones, shells, etc., and cages full of birds. He is of very easy
access, and great familiarity. His attachments are strong, and
extend not merely to persons but places. About a year ago, so much
of the house in which he had lived ever since he had been at
Serampore, fell down so that he had to leave it, at which he wept
bitterly. One morning at breakfast, he was relating to us an
anecdote of the generosity of the late excellent John Thornton, at
the remembrance of whom the big tear filled his eye. Though it is
an affecting sight to see the venerable man weep; yet it is a sight
which greatly interests you, as there is a manliness in his
tears--something far removed from the crying of a child."

The house in which for the last ten years he lived, and where he
died, was the only one of two or three, planned for the new
professors of the college, that was completed. Compared with the
adjoining college it was erected with such severe simplicity that it
was said to have been designed for angels rather than for men.
Carey's room and library looked towards the river with the breadth
of the college garden between. On the other side, in the upper
verandah, in the morning he worked at his desk almost to the last,
and in the evening towards sunset he talked with his visitors. In
1826 the London Missionary Society sent out to Calcutta the first of
its deputations. Dr. Carey sent his boat for them, and in the
absence of her husband in England, Mrs. Marshman entertained the
guests. They wrote:--

"We found Dr. Carey in his study, and we were both pleased and
struck with his primitive, and we may say, apostolical appearance.
He is short of stature, his hair white, his countenance equally
bland and benevolent in feature and expression. Two Hindoo men were
sitting by, engaged in painting some small subjects in natural
history, of which the doctor, a man of pure taste and highly
intellectual cast of feeling, irrespective of his more learned
pursuits, has a choice collection, both in specimens and pictorial
representations. Botany is a favourite study with him, and his
garden is curiously enriched with rarities."

Of all the visits paid to Carey none are now so interesting to the
historian of the Church of India, as those of the youth who
succeeded him as he had succeeded Schwartz. Alexander Duff was
twenty-four years of age when, in 1830, full of hesitation as to
carrying out his own plans in opposition to the experience of all
the missionaries he had consulted, he received from Carey alone the
most earnest encouragement to pursue in Calcutta the Christian
college policy so well begun in the less central settlement of
Serampore. We have elsewhere32 told the story:--

"Landing at the college ghaut one sweltering July day, the still
ruddy highlander strode up to the flight of steps that leads to the
finest modern building in Asia. Turning to the left, he sought the
study of Carey in the house--'built for angels,' said one, so simple
is it--where the greatest of missionary scholars was still working
for India. There he beheld what seemed to be a little yellow old
man in a white jacket, who tottered up to the visitor of whom he had
already often heard, and with outstretched hands solemnly blessed
him. A contemporary soon after wrote thus of the childlike saint--

"'Thou'rt in our heart--with tresses thin and grey,
And eye that knew the Book of Life so well,
And brow serene, as thou wert wont to stray
Amidst thy flowers--like Adam ere he fell.'

"The result of the conference was a double blessing; for Carey could
speak with the influence at once of a scholar who had created the
best college at that time in the country, and of a vernacularist who
had preached to the people for half a century. The young Scotsman
left his presence with the approval of the one authority whose
opinion was best worth having...

"Among those who visited him in his last illness was Alexander Duff,
the Scots missionary. On one of the last occasions on which he saw
him--if not the very last--he spent some time talking chiefly about
Carey's missionary life, till at length the dying man whispered,
Pray. Duff knelt down and prayed, and then said Good-bye. As he
passed from the room, he thought he heard a feeble voice pronouncing
his name, and, turning, he found that he was recalled. He stepped
back accordingly, and this is what he heard, spoken with a gracious
solemnity: 'Mr. Duff, you have been speaking about Dr. Carey, Dr.
Carey; When I am gone, say nothing about Dr. Carey--speak about Dr.
Carey's Saviour.' Duff went away rebuked and awed, with a lesson in
his heart that he never forgot."33

When with his old friends he dwelt much on the past. Writing of May
1832, Dr. Marshman mentioned: "I spent an hour at tea with dear
Brother Carey last night, now seventy and nine months. He was in
the most comfortable state of health, talking over his first
feelings respecting India and the heathen, and the manner in which
God kept them alive, when even Fuller could not yet enter into them,
and good old John Ryland (the doctor's father) denounced them as
unscriptural. Had these feelings died away, in what a different
state might India now have been!" In September of that year, when
burying Mrs. Ward, he seemed, in his address at the grave, to long
for renewed intercourse with the friends who had preceded him in
entering into the joy of the Lord.

On Mr. Leechman's arrival from Scotland to be his colleague, he
found the old man thus vigorous even in April 1833, or if "faint,
yet pursuing":--

"Our venerable Dr. Carey is in excellent health, and takes his turn
in all our public exercises. Just forty years ago, the first of
this month, he administered the Lord's Supper to the church at
Leicester, and started on the morrow to embark for India. Through
this long period of honourable toil the Lord has mercifully
preserved him; and at our missionary prayer meeting, held on the
first of this month, he delivered an interesting address to
encourage us to persevere in the work of the Lord. We have also a
private monthly prayer meeting held in Dr. Carey's study, which is
to me a meeting of uncommon interest. On these occasions we
particularly spread before the Lord our public and private trials,
both those which come upon us from the cause of Christ, with which
it is our honour and privilege to be connected, and those also which
we as individuals are called to bear. At our last meeting Dr. Carey
read part of the history of Gideon, and commented with deep feeling
on the encouragement which that history affords, that the cause of
God can be carried on to victory and triumph, by feeble and
apparently inefficient means."

Carey's successor, Mack, wrote thus to Christopher Anderson ten
months later:--

"SERAMPORE, 31st January 1834.--Our venerable father, Dr. Carey, is
yet continued to us, but in the same state in which he has been for
the last three months or so. He is quite incapable of work, and
very weak. He can walk but a few yards at a time, and spends the
day in reading for profit and entertainment, and in occasionally
nodding and sleeping. He is perfectly tranquil in mind. His
imagination does not soar much in vivid anticipations of glory; and
it never disquiets him with restless misgivings respecting his
inheritance in God. To him it is everything that the gospel is true,
and he believes it; and, as he says, if he can say he knows
anything, he knows that he believes it. When his attention is
turned to his dismissal from earth, or his hope of glory, his
emotions are tender and sweet. They are also very simple, and
express themselves in a few brief and pithy sentences. His interest
in all the affairs of the mission is unabated, and although he can
no longer join us either in deliberation or associated prayer, he
must be informed of all that occurs, and his heart is wholly with us
in whatever we do. I do not conceive it possible that he can
survive the ensuing hot season, but he may, and the Lord will do in
this as in all other things what is best.

"When our necessities were coming to their climax I concluded that I
must leave Serampore in order to find food to eat, and I fixed upon
Cherra-poonjee as my future residence. I proposed establishing a
first-class school there, and then with some warmth of imagination I
began anticipating a sort of second edition of Serampore up in the
Khasia hills, to be a centre of diffusing light in the western
provinces. I became really somewhat enamoured of the phantom of my
imagination, but it was not to be. The brethren here would not see
it as I did."

This last sketch, by Mr. Gogerly, whom the London Missionary Society
had sent out in 1819, brings us still nearer the end:--

"At this time I paid him my last visit. He was seated near his
desk, in the study, dressed in his usual neat attire; his eyes were
closed, and his hands clasped together. On his desk was the
proof-sheet of the last chapter of the New Testament, which he had
revised a few days before. His appearance, as he sat there, with
the few white locks which adorned his venerable brow, and his placid
colourless face, filled me with a kind of awe; for he appeared as
then listening to the Master's summons, and as waiting to depart. I
sat, in his presence, for about half an hour, and not one word was
uttered; for I feared to break that solemn silence, and call back to
earth the soul that seemed almost in heaven. At last, however, I
spoke; and well do I remember the identical words that passed
between us, though more than thirty-six years have elapsed since
then. I said, 'My dear friend, you evidently are standing on the
borders of the eternal world; do not think it wrong, then, if I ask,
What are your feelings in the immediate prospect of death?' The
question roused him from his apparent stupor, and opening his
languid eyes, he earnestly replied, 'As far as my personal salvation
is concerned, I have not the shadow of a doubt; I know in Whom I
have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I
have committed unto Him against that day; but when I think that I am
about to appear in the presence of a holy God, and remember all my
sins and manifold imperfections--I tremble.' He could say no more.
The tears trickled down his cheeks, and after a while he relapsed
into the same state of silence from which I had aroused him.

"Deeply solemn was that interview, and important the lesson I then
received. Here was one of the most holy and harmless men whom I
ever knew--who had lived above the breath of calumny for upwards of
forty years, surrounded by and in close intimacy with many, both
Europeans and natives, who would have rejoiced to have witnessed any
inconsistency in his conduct, but who were constrained to admire his
integrity and Christian character--whilst thus convinced of the
certainty of his salvation, through the merits of that Saviour whom
he had preached, yet so impressed with the exceeding sinfulness of
sin, that he trembled at the thought of appearing before a holy God!
A few days after this event, Dr. Carey retired to his bed, from
which he never rose."

So long before this as 17th March 1802, Carey had thus described
himself to Dr. Ryland:--"A year or more ago you, or some other of my
dear friends, mentioned an intention of publishing a volume of
sermons as a testimony of mutual Christian love, and wished me to
send a sermon or two for that purpose. I have seriously intended
it, and more than once sat down to accomplish it, but have as
constantly been broken off from it. Indolence is my prevailing sin,
and to that are now added a number of avocations which I never
thought of; I have also so continual a fear that I may at last fall
some way or other so as to dishonour the Gospel that I have often
desired that my name may be buried in oblivion; and indeed I have
reason for those fears, for I am so prone to sin that I wonder every
night that I have been preserved from foul crimes through the day,
and when I escape a temptation I esteem it to be a miracle of grace
which has preserved me. I never was so fully persuaded as I am now
that no habit of religion is a security from falling into the
foulest crimes, and I need the immediate help of God every moment.
The sense of my continual danger has, I confess, operated strongly
upon me to induce me to desire that no publication of a religious
nature should be published as mine whilst I am alive. Another
reason is my sense of incapacity to do justice to any subject, or
even to write good sense. I have, it is true, been obliged to
publish several things, and I can say that nothing but necessity
could have induced me to do it. They are, however, only grammatical
works, and certainly the very last things which I should have
written if I could have chosen for myself."

On 15th June 1833 the old man was still able to rejoice with others.
He addressed to his son Jonathan the only brief letter which the
present writer possesses from his pen, in a hand as clear as that of
a quarter of a century before:--

"MY DEAR JONATHAN--I congratulate you upon the good news you have
received. But am sorry Lucy continues so ill. I am too weak to
write more than to say your mother is as well as the weather will
permit us to expect. I could scarcely have been worse to live than
I have been the last fortnight.--Your affectionate father, W.

The hot season had then reached its worst.

His last letters were brief messages of love and hope to his two
sisters in England. On 27th July 1833 he wrote to them:--

"About a week ago so great a change took place in me that I
concluded it was the immediate stroke of death, and all my children
were informed of it and have been here to see me. I have since that
revived in an almost miraculous manner, or I could not have written
this. But I cannot expect it to continue. The will of the Lord be
done. Adieu, till I meet you in a better world.--Your affectionate
brother, "W. CAREY."

Two months later he was at his old work, able "now and then to read
a proof sheet of the Scriptures."

"SERAMPORE, 25th Sept. 1833.

"MY DEAR SISTERS--My being able to write to you now is quite
unexpected by me, and, I believe, by every one else; but it appears
to be the will of God that I should continue a little time longer.
How long that may be I leave entirely with Him, and can only say,
'All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come.'
I was, two months or more ago, reduced to such a state of weakness
that it appeared as if my mind was extinguished; and my weakness of
body, and sense of extreme fatigue and exhaustion, were such that I
could scarcely speak, and it appeared that death would be no more
felt than the removing from one chair to another. I am now able to
sit and to lie on my couch, and now and then to read a proof sheet
of the Scriptures. I am too weak to walk more than just across the
house, nor can I stand even a few minutes without support. I have
every comfort that kind friends can yield, and feel, generally, a
tranquil mind. I trust the great point is settled, and I am ready
to depart; but the time when, I leave with God.

"3rd Oct.--I am not worse than when I began this letter.--I am, your
very affectionate brother, WM. CAREY."

His latest message to Christendom was sent on the 30th September,
most appropriately to Christopher Anderson:--"As everything
connected with the full accomplishment of the divine promises
depends on the almighty power of God, pray that I and all the
ministers of the Word may take hold of His strength, and go about
our work as fully expecting the accomplishment of them all, which,
however difficult and improbable it may appear, is certain, as all
the promises of God are in Him, yea, and in Him, Amen." Had he not,
all his career, therefore expected and attempted great things?

He had had a chair fixed on a small platform, constructed after his
own direction, that he might be wheeled through his garden. At
other times the chief gardener Hullodhur, reported to him the state
of the collection of plants, then numbering about 2000. Dr.
Marshman saw his friend daily, sometimes twice a day, and found him
always what Lord Hastings had described him to be--"the cheerful old
man." On the only occasion on which he seemed sad, Dr. Marshman as
he was leaving the room turned and asked why. With deep feeling the
dying scholar looked to the others and said, "After I am gone
Brother Marshman will turn the cows into my garden." The reply was
prompt, "Far be it from me; though I have not your botanical tastes,
the care of the garden in which you have taken so much delight,
shall be to me a sacred duty."34

Of strangers his most frequent visitor was the Governor-General's
wife, Lady William Bentinck. Her husband was in South India, and
she spent most of her time in Barrackpore Park retreat opposite to
Carey's house. From her frequent converse with him, in his life as
well as now, she studied the art of dying. Daniel Wilson, Bishop of
Calcutta, learned to delight in Serampore almost from the beginning
of his long episcopate, and in later years he lived there more than
in Calcutta. On the 14th February 1833 he first visited Carey, "his
interview with whom, confined as he was to his room, and apparently
on the verge of the celestial world, was peculiarly affecting." In
the last of subsequent visits the young Bishop asked the dying
missionary's benediction. With all the talk was the same, a humble
resignation to the will of God, firm trust in the Redeemer of
sinners, a joyful gratitude for the wonderful progress of His
Kingdom. What a picture is this that his brethren sent home six
weeks before he passed away. "Our aged and venerable brother feels
himself growing gradually weaker. He can scarcely rise from his
couch, and it is with great difficulty that he is carried out daily
to take the air. Yet he is free from all pain as to disease, and
his mind is in a most serene and happy state. He is in full
possession of his faculties, and, although with difficulty, on
account of his weakness, he still converses with his friends from
day to day."

The hottest season of the year crept wearily on during the month of
May and the first week of June. Each night he slept well, and each
day he was moved to his couch in the dining-room for air. There he
lay, unable to articulate more than a word or two, but expressing by
his joyful features union in prayer and interest in conversation.
On the 22nd May the English mail arrived with gladdening
intelligence from Mr. Hope--God's people were praying and giving
anew for the mission. Especially was his own latest station of
Cherra-poonjee remembered. As he was told that a lady, anonymously,
had offered £500 for that mission, £500 for the college, £500 for
the translations, and £100 for the mission generally, he raised his
emaciated hands to heaven and murmured praise to God. When the
delirium of departure came he strove to reach his desk that he might
write a letter of thanks, particularly for Cherra. Then he would
recall the fact that the little church he at first formed had
branched out into six and twenty churches, in which the ordinances
of the Gospel were regularly administered, and he would whisper,
"What has God wrought!"

The last Sabbath had come--and the last full day. The constant
Marshman was with him. "He was scarcely able to articulate, and
after a little conversation I knelt down by the side of his couch
and prayed with him. Finding my mind unexpectedly drawn out to
bless God for His goodness, in having preserved him and blessed him
in India for above forty years, and made him such an instrument of
good to His church; and to entreat that on his being taken home, a
double portion of his spirit might rest on those who remained
behind; though unable to speak, he testified sufficiently by his
countenance how cordially he joined in this prayer. I then asked
Mrs. Carey whether she thought he could now see me. She said yes,
and to convince me, said, 'Mr. Marshman wishes to know whether you
now see him?' He answered so loudly that I could hear him, 'Yes, I
do,' and shook me most cordially by the hand. I then left him, and
my other duties did not permit me to reach him again that day. The
next morning, as I was returning home before sunrise, I met our
Brethren Mack and Leechman out on their morning ride, when Mack told
me that our beloved brother had been rather worse all the night, and
that he had just left him very ill. I immediately hastened home,
through the college in which he has lived these ten years, and when
I reached his room, found that he had just entered into the joy of
his Lord--Mrs. Carey, his son Jabez, my son John, and Mrs. Mack
being present."

It was Monday the 9th June 1834, at half-past five, as the morning
sun was ascending the heavens towards the perfect day. The
rain-clouds burst and covered the land with gloom next morning when
they carried William Carey to the converts' burial-ground and made
great lamentation. The notice was too short for many to come up
from Calcutta in those days. "Mr. Duff, of the Scottish Church,
returned a most kind letter." Sir Charles Metcalfe and the Bishop
wrote very feelingly in reply. Lady Bentinck sent the Rev. Mr.
Fisher to represent the Governor-General and herself, and "a most
kind and feeling answer, for she truly loved the venerable man,"
while she sadly gazed at the mourners as they followed the simple
funeral up the right bank of the Hoogli, past the College and the
Mission chapel. Mr. Yates, who had taken a loving farewell of the
scholar he had been reluctant to succeed, represented the younger
brethren; Lacroix, Micaiah Hill, and Gogerly, the London Missionary
Society. Corrie and Dealtry do not seem to have reached the spot in
time. The Danish Governor, his wife, and the members of council
were there, and the flag drooped half-mast high as on the occasion
of a Governor's death. The road was lined by the poor, Hindoo and
Mohammedan, for whom he had done so much. When all, walking in the
rain, had reached the open grave, the sun shone out, and Leechman
led them in the joyous resurrection hymn, "Why do we mourn departing
friends?" "I then addressed the audience," wrote Marshman, "and,
contrary to Brother Mack's foretelling that I should never get
through it for tears, I did not shed one. Brother Mack was then
asked to address the native members, but he, seeing the time so far
gone, publicly said he would do so at the village. Brother Robinson
then prayed, and weeping--then neither myself nor few besides could
refrain." In Jannuggur village chapel in the evening the Bengali
burial hymn was sung, Pœritran Christer Morone, "Salvation by the
death of Christ," and Pran Krishna, the oldest disciple, led his
countrymen in prayer. Then Mack spoke to the weeping converts with
all the pathos of their own sweet vernacular from the words, "For
David, after he had served his own generation, by the will of God
fell on sleep." Had not Carey's been a royal career, even that of a
king and a priest unto God?

"We, as a mission," wrote Dr. Marshman to Christopher Anderson,
"took the expense on ourselves, not suffering his family to do so,
as we shall that of erecting a monument for him. Long before his
death we had, by a letter signed by us all, assured him that the
dear relatives, in England and France, should have their pensions
continued as though he were living, and that Mrs. Carey, as a widow,
should have Rs. 100 monthly, whatever Mackintosh's house might yield

Twenty-two years before, when Chamberlain was complaining because of
the absence of stone, or brick, or inscription in the mission
burial-ground, Carey had said, "Why should we be remembered? I
think when I am dead the sooner I am forgotten the better." Dr.
Johns observed that it is not the desire of the persons themselves
but of their friends for them, to which Carey replied, "I think of
others in that respect as I do of myself." When his second wife was
taken from him, his affection so far prevailed that he raised a
memorial stone, and in his will left this "order" to Mack and
William Robinson, his executors: "I direct that my funeral be as
plain as possible; that I be buried by the side of my second wife,
Charlotte Emilia Carey; and that the following inscription and
nothing more may be cut on the stone which commemorates her, either
above or below, as there may be room, viz.:--


A wretched, poor, and helpless worm,
On Thy kind arms I fall."

The surviving brethren seem to have taken the small oblong stone,
with the inscription added as directed, and to have placed it on the
south side of the domed square block of brick and white
plaster--since renewed from time to time--which stands in the left
corner of the God's-acre, now consecrated by the mingled dust of
four generations of missionaries, converts, and Christian people.
Ward's monument stands in the centre, and that of the Marshman
family at the right hand. Three and a half years afterwards Joshua
Marshman followed Carey; not till 1847 was Hannah Marshman laid
beside him, after a noble life of eighty years. Mack had gone the
year before, cut off by cholera like Ward. But the brotherhood
cannot be said to have ended till John Marshman, C.S.I., died in
London in 1877. From first to last the three families contributed
to the cause of God from their own earnings, ninety thousand pounds,
and the world would never have known it but for the lack of the
charity that envieth not on the part of Andrew Fuller's successors.

Carey's last will and testament begins: "I utterly disclaim all or
any right or title to the premises at Serampore, called the mission
premises, and every part and parcel thereof; and do hereby declare
that I never had, or supposed myself to have, any such right or
title. I give and bequeath to the College of Serampore the whole of
my museum, consisting of minerals, shells, corals, insects, and
other natural curiosities, and a Hortus Siccus; also the folio
edition of Hortus Woburnensis, which was presented to me by Lord
Hastings; Taylor's Hebrew Concordance, my collection of Bibles in
foreign languages, and all my books in the Italian and German
languages." His widow, Grace, who survived him a short time, had
the little capital that was hers before her marriage to him, and he
desired that she would choose from his library whatever English
books she valued. His youngest son, Jonathan, was not in want of
money. He had paid Felix and William Rs. 1500 each in his lifetime.
In order to leave a like sum to Jabez, he thus provided: "From the
failure of funds to carry my former intentions into effect, I direct
that my library be sold." In dying as in living he is the
same--just to others because self-devoted to Him to whom he thus
formally willed himself, "On Thy kind arms I fall."

The Indian journals rang with the praises of the missionary whose
childlike humility and sincerity, patriotism and learning, had long
made India proud of him. After giving himself, William Carey had
died so poor that his books had to be sold to provide £187 10s. for
one of his sons. One writer asserted that this man had contributed
"sixteen lakhs of rupees" to the cause of Christ while connected
with the Serampore Mission, and the statement was everywhere
repeated. Dr. Marshman thereupon published the actual facts, "as no
one would have felt greater abhorrence of such an attempt to impose
on the Christian public than Dr. Carey himself, had he been living."
At a time when the old Sicca Rupee was worth half a crown, Carey
received, in the thirty-four and a half years of his residence at
Serampore, from the date of his appointment to the College of Fort
William, £45,000.35 Of this he spent £7500 on his Botanic Garden in
that period. If accuracy is of any value in such a question, which
has little more than a curious biographical interest, then we must
add the seven years previous to 1801, and we shall find that the
shoemaker of Hackleton received in all for himself and his family
£600 from the Society which he called into existence, and which sent
him forth, while he spent on the Christianisation and civilisation
of India £1625 received as a manufacturer of indigo; and £45,000 as
Professor of Sanskrit, Bengali, and Marathi, and Bengali Translator
to Government, or £46,625 in all.

"It is possible," wrote Dr. Marshman, "that if, instead of thus
living to God and his cause with his brethren at Serampore, Dr.
Carey had, like the other professors in the college, lived in
Calcutta wholly for himself and his family, he might have laid by
for them a lakh of rupees in the thirty years he was employed by
Government, and had he been very parsimonious, possibly a lakh and a
half. But who that contrasts the pleasures of such a life with
those Dr. Carey enjoyed in promoting with his own funds every plan
likely to plant Christianity among the natives around him, without
having to consult any one in thus doing, but his two brethren of one
heart with him, who contributed as much as himself to the Redeemer's
cause, and the fruit of which he saw before his death in Twenty-six
Gospel Churches planted in India within a surface of about eight
hundred miles, and above Forty labouring brethren raised up on the
spot amidst them--would not prefer the latter? What must have been
the feelings on a deathbed of a man who had lived wholly to himself,
compared with the joyous tranquillity which filled Carey's soul in
the prospect of entering into the joy of his Lord, and above all
with what he felt when, a few days before his decease, he said to
his companion in labour for thirty-four years: 'I have no fears; I
have no doubts; I have not a wish left unsatisfied.'"

In the Danish Church of Serampore, and in the Mission Chapel, and
afterwards in the Union Chapel of Calcutta, Dr. Marshman and Mr.
Mack preached sermons on William Carey. These and the discourse
delivered in Charlotte Chapel, Edinburgh, on the 30th of November,
by Christopher Anderson, were the only materials from which a just
estimate of Carey and his work could be formed for the next quarter
of a century. All, and especially the last, were as worthy of their
theme as éloges pronounced in such circumstances could be. Marshman
spoke from the text chosen by Carey himself a few weeks before his
death as containing the foundation of his hope and the source of his
calm and tranquil assurance--"For by grace are ye saved." Mack
found his inspiration again, as he had done in the Bengali village,
in Paul's words--"David, after he had served his own generation, by
the will of God fell on sleep." The Edinburgh preacher turned to
the message of Isaiah wherewith Carey used to comfort himself in his
early loneliness, and which the Revised Version renders--"Look unto
Abraham your father; for when he was but one I called him and I
blessed him and made him many." And in Bombay the young
contemporary missionary who most nearly resembled Carey in personal
saintliness, scholarship, and self-devotion, John Wilson, thus

"Dr. Carey, the first of living missionaries, the most honoured and
the most successful since the time of the Apostles, has closed his
long and influential career. Indeed his spirit, his life, and his
labours, were truly apostolic...The Spirit of God which was in him
led him forward from strength to strength, supported him under
privation, enabled him to overcome in a fight that seemed without
hope. Like the beloved disciple, whom he resembled in simplicity of
mind, and in seeking to draw sinners to Christ altogether by the
cords of love, he outlived his trials to enjoy a peaceful and
honoured old age, to know that his Master's cause was prospering,
and that his own name was named with reverence and blessing in every
country where a Christian dwelt. Perhaps no man ever exerted a
greater influence for good on a great cause. Who that saw him, poor
and in seats of learning uneducated, embark on such an enterprise,
could ever dream that, in little more than forty years, Christendom
should be animated with the same spirit, thousands forsake all to
follow his example, and that the Word of Life should be translated
into almost every language and preached in almost every corner of
the earth?"

As the Founder and Father of Modern Missions, the character and
career of William Carey are being revealed every year in the
progress, and as yet, the purity of the expansion of the Church and
of the English-speaking races in the two-thirds of the world which
are still outside of Christendom. The £13:2:6 of Kettering became
£400,000 before he died, and is now £5,000,000 a year. The one
ordained English missionary is now a band of 20,000 men and women
sent out by 558 agencies of the Reformed Churches. The solitary
converts, each with no influence on his people, or country, or
generation, are now a community of 3,000,000 in India alone, and in
all the lands outside of Christendom 5,000,000, of whom 80,000 are
missionaries to their own countrymen, and many are leaders of the
native communities. Since the first edition of the Bengali New
Testament appeared at the beginning of the century 250,000,000 of
copies of the Holy Scriptures have been printed, of which one half
are in 370 of the non-English tongues of the world. The Bengali
School of Mudnabati, the Christian College of Serampore, have set in
motion educational forces that are bringing nations to the birth,
are passing under Bible instruction every day more than a million
boys and girls, young men and maidens of the dark races of mankind.

The seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, the greatest and most practical
Evangelical of the nineteenth century after William Wilberforce,
wrote thus in his Journal of the class whom Carey headed in the
eighteenth, and whom Wordsworth commemorated as

"Not sedentary all, there are who roam
To scatter seeds of Life on barbarous shores."

1847. "Aug. 30th--RYDE.--Reading Missionary Enterprises by
Williams...Zeal, devotion, joy, simplicity of heart, faith, love;
and we here have barely affection enough to thank God that such
deeds have been done. Talk of 'doing good' and being 'useful in
one's generation,' why, these admirable men performed more in one
month than I or many others shall perform in a whole life!"

The eloquent Dr. Richard Winter Hamilton, reflecting that sacrifice
to heroes is reserved until after sunset, recalled William Carey,
eight years after his death, as "wielding a power to which all
difficulties yielded, but that power noiseless as a law of nature;
great in conception as well as in performance; profound as those
deep combinations of language in which the Indian philosophy and
polytheism hide themselves, but gentle as the flower which in his
brief recreation he loved to train; awful as the sage, simple as the
child; speaking through the Eastern world in as many languages,
perhaps, as 'the cloven tongues of fire' represented; to be
remembered and blessed as long as Ganges rolls!"

The historian of the Baptist Missionary Society, and Robert Hall,
whom Sir James Mackintosh pronounced the greatest English orator,
have both attempted an estimate of Carey's genius and influence.
Dr. F. A. Cox remarks:--"Had he been born in the sixteenth century
he might have been a Luther, to give Protestantism to Europe; had he
turned his thought and observations merely to natural philosophy he
might have been a Newton; but his faculties, consecrated by religion
to a still higher end, have gained for him the sublime distinction
of having been the Translator of the Scriptures and the Benefactor
of Asia." Robert Hall spoke thus of Carey in his lifetime:--"That
extraordinary man who, from the lowest obscurity and poverty,
without assistance, rose by dint of unrelenting industry to the
highest honours of literature, became one of the first of
Orientalists, the first of Missionaries, and the instrument of
diffusing more religious knowledge among his contemporaries than has
fallen to the lot of any individual since the Reformation; a man who
unites with the most profound and varied attainments the fervour of
an evangelist, the piety of a saint, and the simplicity of a child."

Except the portrait in London and the bust in Calcutta, no memorial,
national, catholic, or sectarian, marks the work of Carey. That
work is meanwhile most appropriately embodied in the College for
natives at Serampore, in the Lall Bazaar chapel and Benevolent
Institution for the poor of Calcutta. The Church of England, which
he left, like John Wesley, has allowed E. S. Robinson, Esq., of
Bristol, to place an inscription, on brass, in the porch of the
church of his native village, beside the stone which he erected over
the remains of his father, Edmund, the parish clerk:--"To the Glory
of God and in memory of Dr. Wm. Carey, Missionary and Orientalist."

Neither Baptist nor Anglican, the present biographer would, in the
name of the country which stood firm in its support of Carey and
Serampore all through the forty-one years of his apostolate, add
this final eulogy, pronounced in St. George's Free Church,
Edinburgh, on the man who, more than any other and before all
others, made the civilisation of the modern world by the
English-speaking races a Christian force.36 Carey, childlike in his
humility, is the most striking illustration in all Hagiology,
Protestant or Romanist, of the Lord's declaration to the Twelve when
He had set a little child in the midst of them, "Whosoever shall
humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the
kingdom of heaven." Yet we, nigh a century after he went forth with
the Gospel to Hindostan, may venture to place him where the Church
History of the future is likely to keep him--amid the uncrowned
kings of men who have made Christian England what it is, under God,
to its own people and to half the human race. These are Chaucer,
the Father of English Verse; Wyclif the Father of the Evangelical
Reformation in all lands; Hooker, the Father of English Prose;
Shakspere, the Father of English Literature; Milton, the Father of
the English Epic; Bunyan, the Father of English Allegory; Newton,
the father of English Science; Carey, the Father of the Second
Reformation through Foreign Missions.



WE, Frederick the Sixth, by the Grace of God King of Denmark, the
Venders and Gothers, Duke of Slesvig Holsten, Stormarn, Ditmarsken,
Limessborg and Oldenborg, by writings these make known and publicly
declare, that whereas William Carey and Joshua Marshman, Doctors of
Divinity, and John Clark Marshman, Esq., inhabitants of our town of
Fredericksnagore (or Serampore) in Bengal, being desirous of
founding a College to promote piety and learning particularly among
the native Christian population of India, have to secure this object
erected suitable buildings and purchased and collected suitable
books, maps, etc., and have humbly besought us to grant unto them
and such persons as shall be elected by them and their successors to
form the Council of the College in the manner to be hereafter named,
our Royal Charter of Incorporation that they may the more
effectually carry into execution the purposes above-mentioned:--We,
being desirous to encourage so laudable an undertaking, have of our
special grace and free motion ordained, constituted, granted and
declared, and by the presents We do for ourselves, our heirs and
successors ordain, constitute, grant and declare:

1. That the said William Carey, Joshua Marshman and John Clark
Marshman, and such other person or persons as shall successively be
elected and appointed the Council of the said College, in the manner
hereafter mentioned, shall by virtue of the presents be for ever
hereafter one body politic and incorporate by the name of the
Serampore College for the purposes aforesaid to have perpetual
succession and to have a common seal, and by the said name to sue
and be sued, to implead and be impleaded, and to answer and be
answered unto in every court and place belonging to us, our heirs
and successors.

2. And We do hereby ordain, constitute and declare that the persons
hereby incorporated and their successors shall for ever be competent
in law to purchase, hold and enjoy for them and their successors any
goods and chattels whatsoever and to receive, purchase, hold and
enjoy, they and their successors, any lands, tenements or
hereditaments whatever, and that they shall have full power and
authority to sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of any real or
personal property to be by them acquired as aforesaid, unless the
sale or alienation of such property be specially prohibited by the
donor or donors thereof, and to do all things relating to the said
College or Corporation in as ample a manner or form as any of our
liege subjects, or any other body politic or corporate in our said
kingdom or its dependencies may or can do.

3. And We do hereby ordain, grant and declare that the number of
Professors, Fellows or Student Tutors and Students, shall be
indefinite and that the said William Carey, Joshua Marshman and John
Clark Marshman, shall be the first Council of the said College, and
that in the event of its appearing to them necessary during their
life-time, or in the case of the death of any one of the three
members of the said first Council, the survivors or survivor shall
and may under their respective hands and seals appoint such other
person or persons to be members of the Council of the College, and
to succeed each other so as to become Members of the said Council in
the order in which they shall be appointed, to the intent that the
Council of the said College shall for ever consist of at least three

4. And We do hereby further ordain, grant and declare, that for the
better government of the said College, and the better management of
its concerns, the said William Carey, Joshua Marshman and John Clark
Marshman, the members of the first Council, shall have full power
and authority for the space of ten years from the date of these
presents, to make and establish such statutes as shall appear to
them useful and necessary for the government of the said College, in
which statutes they shall define the powers to be entrusted to their
successors, to the Professors, the Fellows or Student Tutors and the
other Officers thereof, and the duties to be performed by these
respectively for the management of the estates, lands, revenues and
goods--and of the business of the said College, and the manner of
proposing, electing, admitting and removing all and every one of the
Council, the Professors, the Fellows or Tutors, the officers, the
students and the servants thereof, and shall make and establish
generally all such other statutes as may appear to them necessary
for the future good government and prosperity of the said College,
provided that these statutes be not contrary to the laws and
statutes of our realm.

5. And we do hereby further ordain, grant and declare, that the
statutes thus made and established by the said three members of the
first Council, and given or left in writing under their respective
hands, shall be valid and in full force at the expiration of ten
years from the date of these presents, so that no future Council of
the College shall have power to alter, change or vary them in any
manner whatever and that the statutes shall for ever be considered
the constitution of the said College. And we do hereby appoint and
declare that these statutes shall be made and established by the
said William Carey, Joshua Marshman and John Clark Marshman alone,
so that in case either of them should die before the expiration of
ten years, the power of completing or perfecting these statutes
shall devolve wholly on the survivors or survivor; and that in case
all three of them should die before the expiration of ten years, the
statutes which they have left in writing under their hands, or under
the hand of the last survivor among them shall be considered "The
Fundamental Statutes and Constitution of Serampore College,"
incapable of receiving either addition or alteration, and shall and
may be registered in our Royal Court of Chancery as "The Statutes
and Constitution of Serampore College."

6. And We do hereby further appoint, grant and declare that from and
after the completion of the statutes of the said College in the
above said time of ten years, the said Council of the College shall
be deemed to consist of a Master or President and two or four
members who may be Professors or otherwise as the Statutes may
direct so that the said Council shall not contain less than three,
nor more than five persons, as shall be defined in the Statutes.
The Council shall ever be elected as the Statutes of the College
may direct, yet the said Master or President shall always previously
have been a Member of the said College; and upon the decease of the
said Master or President, the Council of the said College shall be
unable to do any act or deed until the appointment of a new Master
or President, save and except the appointment of such a Master.

7. And We further appoint, grant and declare, that the said William
Carey, Joshua Marshman and John Clark Marshman, the members of the
first Council, and their successors for ever, shall have the power
of conferring upon the students of the said College, Native
Christians as well as others, degrees of rank and honour according
to their proficiency in as ample a manner as any other such College,
yet the said Serampore College shall only have the power of
conferring such degrees on the students that testify their
proficiency in Science and no rank or other special right shall be
connected therewith in our dominions. And We do hereby further
appoint, grant and declare, that after the expiration of the said
ten years, the said Council of the College and their successors for
ever shall have power to make and establish such orders and bye-laws
as shall appear to them useful and necessary for the government of
the said College, and to alter, suspend or repeal those already
made, and from time to time make such new ones in their room as
shall appear to them most proper and expedient provided the same be
not repugnant to the Statutes of the College, or to the laws of our
realm, and that after the expiration of these ten years any member
of the Council shall have power to move the enactment of any new
bye-law, or the alteration, suspension or repeal of any existing one
provided notice of such motion shall have been delivered in writing
to the Master and read from the Chair at one previous meeting of the
Council of the said College, but that no such motion shall be deemed
to have passed in the affirmative, until the same shall have been
discussed and decided by ballot at another meeting summoned
especially for that purpose, a majority of the members then present
having voted in the affirmative; and in this, as in all other cases,
if the votes be equal, the Master or President shall have the
casting vote.

Given at our Royal Palace in Copenhagen on the twenty-third day of
February, in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred and
twenty-seven, in the nineteenth year of our reign.

Under our Royal Hand and Seal.



June 12th, 1833.

1. Article the Third of the Charter granted by his Danish Majesty,
having authorised the first Council of Serampore College in their
lifetime to nominate under their hand and seal such other person or
persons for colleagues or successors as may to them appear most
proper, so that the Council shall always consist of at least three
persons, their successors in the Council shall be competent in like
manner to nominate in their lifetime, under their separate hand and
seal, such person or persons as they may deem most proper to fill
vacancies then existing or which may occur on their demise; members
thus nominated and chosen shall succeed to the Council in order of
their nomination.

2. It being fixed in the Charter that the Council must consist of
the Master or President and at least two, but no more than four
Members, and that on the demise of the Master no act shall be done
until another be elected, the Master and Council for the time being
shall appoint the next Master under their separate hand and seal.
If on the demise of a Master no one be found thus appointed under
the hand and seal of a majority of the Council, the Senior Member of
the Council shall succeed as Master.

3. The Charter having given the casting vote to the Master, in all
cases when the votes are equal the casting vote shall lie with the
Master, and if there be no Master, it shall lie with the Senior
Member of the Council.

4. Learning and piety being peculiar to no denomination of
Christians, one member of the Council may at all times be of any
other denomination besides the Baptist, to preserve the original
design of the Institution; however, if on the election of a Master a
number of the Council be equally divided, that part which is
entirely of the Baptist denomination shall have the casting vote,
whether it includes the Master or not.

5. The management of the College, including its revenues and
property, the choice of Professor and Tutors, the admission of
Students, the appointment of all functionaries and servants, and the
general order and government of the College, shall ever be vested in
the Master and the Council. The Master shall see that the Statutes
and Regulations of the Council be duly carried into effect, and take
order for the good government of the College in all things. His
signature is necessary to the validity of all deeds, instruments,
documents and proceedings.

6. "The first Council and their successor for ever" being authorised
by the Charter "to confer such degrees of rank and honour as shall
encourage learning" in the same manner as other Colleges and
Universities, they shall from time to time confer degrees in such
branches of Knowledge and Science as may be studied there, in the
same manner as the Universities in Denmark, Germany and Great
Britain. In doing this the Master and Council shall ad libitum call
in the aid of any or all the Professors of Serampore College. All
such degrees shall be perfectly free of expense to the person on
whom they may be conferred, whether he be in India, Europe or

7. No oaths shall be administered in Serampore College, either to
the Members of Council, the Professors and Tutors, or the Students.
In all cases a solemn promise, duly recorded and signed by the
party, shall be accepted instead of an oath.

8. Marriage shall be no bar to any office or situation in Serampore
College, from that of the Master to that of the lowest student.

9. The salaries of the Professors and Tutors in Serampore College
shall be appointed, and the means of support for all functionaries,
students and servants be regulated by the Council in such manner as
shall best promote the objects of the Institution.

10. It is intended that neither the Master nor any Member of the
Council in general shall receive any salary. But any Master who may
not previously reside in the College shall have a residence there
free of rent for himself and his family. And if the Council shall
elect any one in Europe or in America, whom they deem eminent for
learning and piety, a Member of the Council, with a view to choosing
him Master, should they on trial deem him worthy, the Council shall
be competent to appoint him such salary as they may deem necessary,
not exceeding, however, the highest given to a Professor.

11. As the founders of the College deem the belief of Christ's
Divinity and Atonement essential to vital Christianity, the
promotion of which is the grand object of this Institution, no one
shall be eligible to the College Council or to any Professorship who
is known to oppose these doctrines, and should any one of the
Professors or any member of the Council unhappily so change his
views after his election as to oppose these fundamental doctrines of
Christianity, on this being clearly and decidedly proved from his
teaching or his writings, he shall vacate the office he previously
held. But every proceeding of this nature on the part of the
College Council shall be published to the Christian world, with the
proofs on which it may rest, as an Appendix to the succeeding

12. Members of the Council are eligible from among the Professors of
the College, or from among any in India, Europe, or America whom the
College Council may deem suitable in point of learning, piety, and

13. Students are admissible at the discretion of the Council from
any body of Christians, whether Protestant, Roman Catholic, the
Greek, or the Armenian Church; and for the purpose of study, from
the Mussulman and Hindu youth, whose habits forbid their living in
the College. No caste, colour, or country shall bar any man from
admission into Serampore College.

14. Expulsion shall be awarded in cases of open immorality,
incorrigible idleness, neglect of the College Statutes and
regulations, or repeated disobedience to the officers of the

15. Any person in India, Europe, or America shall be at liberty to
found any Professorship, or to attach to Serampore College any
annual exhibition or prize for the encouragement of learning in the
same manner as in the Universities of Great Britain, regulating such
endowment according to their own will; and it shall be duty of the
College Council to carry such benefactions into effect in strict
consonance with the will of the donors as far as shall be consistent
with the Statutes of the College.

16. It shall be lawful for the first Council of the College or their
successors to make and rescind any bye-laws whatever, provided they
be not contrary to these Statutes.

17. The Charter having declared that the number of the Professors
and students in Serampore College remains unlimited, they shall be
left thus unlimited, the number to be regulated only by the gracious
providence of God and the generosity of the public in India, Europe
and America.


"The rights and immunities granted to the Serampore College by Royal
Charter of date, 23rd February, 1827, shall not be interfered with,
but continue in force in the same manner as if they had been
obtained by a Charter from the British Government, subject to the
general law of British India."


1 Iphicrates, great Athenian general, who was the son of a
shoemaker, used this saying, fit motto for Carey, Ýî ïæùí åæò ïæá.
{Font=Courier New Greek}

2 The shopmate, William Manning, preserved this signboard. In 1881
we found a Baptist shoemaker, a descendant of Carey's wife, with
four assistants, at work in the shed. Then an old man, who had
occasionally worked under Carey, had just died, and he used to tell
how Carey had once flipped him with his apron when he had allowed
the wax to boil over.

3 In the library of the late Rev. T. Toller of Kettering was a
manuscript (now in the library of Bristol Baptist College) of nine
small octavo pages, evidently in the exquisitely small and legible
handwriting of Carey, on the Psalter. The short treatise discusses
the literary character and authorship of the Psalms in the style of
Michaelis and Bishop Lowth, whose writings are referred to. The
Hebrew words used are written even more beautifully than the
English. If this little work was written before Carey went to
India--and the caligraphy seems to point to that--the author shows a
very early familiarity with the writings of one who was his
predecessor as a Christian Orientalist, Sir William Jones. The
closing paragraph has this sentence:--"A frequent perusal of the
book of Psalms is recommended to all. We should permit few days to
pass without reading in Hebrew one of those sacred poems; the more
they are read and studied, the more will they delight, edify, and

4 Twice reprinted, in Leicester, and in London (1892) in facsimile.

5 Wealth of Nations, Book IV., Chap. VII.

6 Mr. Thomas Haddon of Clipstone writes: "I recollect when I was
about ten years old, at my father's house; it was on a Saturday,
Carey was on his way to Arnsby (which is twenty miles from Moulton)
to supply there the following Sabbath; he had then walked from
Moulton to Clipstone, a distance of ten miles, and had ten miles
further to walk to Arnsby. My honoured father had been intimately
acquainted with him for some years before, and he pressed him to
stay and take an early cup of tea before he went further. I well
recollect my father saying to him, 'I suppose you still work at your
trade?' (which was that of an army and navy shoemaker). Mr. Carey
replied: 'No, indeed, I do not; for yesterday week I took in my work
to Kettering, and Mr. Gotch came into the warehouse just as I had
emptied my bag. He took up one of the shoes and said, "Let me see,
Carey, how much do you earn a week?" I said, "About 9s., sir." Mr.
Gotch then said: "I have a secret to tell you, which is this: I do
not intend you should spoil any more of my leather, but you may
proceed as fast as you can with your Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and I
will allow you from my own private purse 10s. a week!" With that
sum and about 5s. a week which I get from my people at Moulton, I
can make a comfortable living' (although at that time he had a wife
and three children to provide for)."

7 Farewell Letters on Returning to Bengal in 1821.

8 Rev. A. T. Clarke succeeded Kiernander in 1789 in the Old or
Mission Church, according to Miss Blechynden's Calcutta Past and
Present (1905), p. 84.

9 At this time, and up to 1801, the last survivor of the Black Hole
tragedy was living in Calcutta and bore his own name, though the
missionary knew it not. Mrs. Carey was a country-born woman, who,
when a girl, had married an officer of one of the East Indiamen, and
with him, her mother, and sister, had been shut up in the Black
Hole, where, while they perished, she is said to have retained life
by swallowing her tears. Dr. Bishop, of Merchant Taylors'
School--Clive's School--wrote Latin verses on the story, which thus

"...Nescit sitiendo perire
Cui sic dat lacrymas quas bibat ipsa fides."
--See Echoes from Old Calcutta, by Dr. Busteed, C.I.E.

10 But not its Church. In October 1796 Mr. A. Johnstone, thirty
years elder in Lady Yester's congregation, beside the University of
Edinburgh, began a prayer meeting for Carey's work and for foreign
missions. He was summoned to the Presbytery, and there questioned
as if he had been a "Black-neb" or revolutionary. This meeting led
to the foundation of the Sabbath School and Destitute Sick Societies
in Edinburgh. See Lives of the Haldanes.

11 Dr. Marshman's English translation is still used, beginning--

"Oh! thou my soul forget no more
The Friend who all thy misery bore."

12 The chatookee is a bird which, they say, drinks not at the
streams below: but when it rains, opening its bill, it catches the
drops as they fall from the clouds.

13 The sight of the red coat of the military surgeon who attended
him gave this form to his delirious talk: "I treated him very
roughly and refused to touch his medicine. In vain did he retire


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