Hardships at Home
In 1781, the 19 year old William Carey married 25 year old Dorothy Plackett and they lived in humble circumstances. They were married for 26 years and had seven children.
Theirs was a life of real challenges, the death of their two year old daughter, Ann, as well as the constant pressure of poverty.
William himself nearly died of a fever early in their married life. The sickness left him bald for the rest of his life. But they built a life together in service to Christ for the spread of the gospel.
In the years before they sailed to India, Carey pastored two Baptist churches, in Moulton and Leicester.
Cook’s Last Voyage
In 1783 an important book was published. It gained the attention of the English speaking world, and particularly William Carey.
Yorkshireman Captain James Cook was already as close to a ‘household name’ as you could get. The adventurer and explorer had been killed in Hawaii in 1779 and the Journal of his last voyages was published in 1783.
As Carey read the intriguing accounts of peoples from far off places and such different cultures he felt more than curiosity stirring in him. Cook’s journal was, he confesses, ‘the first thing that engaged my mind to think of missions.’ (quoted in Timothy George, Faithful Witness, IVP, p.20)
The Motive for Mission
Cook himself, wasn’t interested in promoting Christianity around the world. In fact, he disparagingly says of one particular people group, ‘No one would ever venture to introduce Christianity [here] because neither fame nor profit would offer the requisite inducement.’ (ibid p.21)
Cook’s statement reveals a spectacular misunderstanding of the apostolic impulse and is all the more ironic considering both William and Dorothy’s immense sacrifice in order to bring the gospel to India.
To read the next part of the William Carey story click here
To read the first part of the William Carey story click here
© 2011 Church History Blog / Lex Loizides