A child of the Church of England
Carey was a child of the Church of England, having been christened as a baby and assuming, as almost everyone did in 18th Century England, that any other kind of church was bogus, not a real church at all.
But one of the other apprentices, John Warr, was not a member of the Church of England. And, rather than his being strange or artificial, Warr had a definite and clear faith in Christ.
Biographer, Timothy George writes, ‘As parish clerk, Edmund Carey (William’s father) had required his children to attend church where they listened to the Psalms and lessons from the Book of Common Prayer.
‘Although Carey never disparaged this religious training, it left him, as he put it, ‘wholly unacquainted with the scheme of salvation by Christ.’ Indeed, he confessed, ‘Of real experimental [experiential] religion, I scarcely heard anything until I was fourteen years of age.’ (Quoted in Faithful Wtiness, Timothy George, IVP, p.6)
Convinced by Scripture
Eventually, he did indeed put his trust in Christ for the forgiveness of his sins. He was converted and immediately began to zealously tell everyone of Christ’s love.
Being convinced by Scripture, which the so-called ‘Dissenters’ preached, William broke with family and church tradition and was baptised as a believer in 1783.
The Baptist Pastor, John Ryland, who oversaw his baptism, later wrote,
‘On October 5, 1783, I baptised in the Nene, just beyond Doddridge’s meeting- house, a poor journeyman-shoemaker, little thinking that before nine years elapsed he would prove the first instrument of forming a Society for sending missionaries from England to the heathen world, and much less that later would become professor of languages in an Oriental College, and the translator of the Scriptures into eleven different tongues.’ (ibid. p.12)
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