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thought. But they had a following. Humble men and women. whose hearts God had touched, gladly listened to their life-giving words, and of these lowly ones God made mighty instruments to usher in a new era of zeal and activity in the Christian church.

Section V Modern Missions

THE Saviour, in enumerating the signs that should precede His return, made the definite statement:

"This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Matt. 24: 14.

We should accordingly expect, in harmony with this promise, that as the time of the end drew near, there would be a great world missionary movement, and facilities would be set on foot for giving the gospel to all the nations of the world. precisely what has happened.

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For centuries the church militant had lain upon its arms. The heathen nations were known to exist; Christian nations traded with them, they even made slaves of the hapless Africans, but they did little or nothing to give them the gospel. They did not sense their responsibility toward this largest portion of the population of the globe lying in heathen darkness. Then, with all the suddenness of a revolution, public sentiment changed, and very soon all Europe was alive with missionary zeal.

More than one writer has referred to the rapidity with which the missionary spirit took hold of the people of England at the close of the eighteenth century. Doctor Sherring, in his "History of Protestant Missions in India," calls it "a curious phenomenon in the history of mankind." He says:

"The apathy of England concerning the spiritual condition of heathen countries, and the rigid, exclusive selfishness which characterized its religion, continued almost unchanged until the eighteenth century was dying out, when suddenly the Christian church awoke to the conviction of its gross neglect of duty. That it should have been so long heedless of the fact that more than one half of the human race were worshipers of idols, and slaves of the most debasing superstitions, and then should have been so thoroughly transformed, as, in the course of a few short years, to be found devising practical schemes for the spiritual regeneration of pagan races of every country on the face of the earth, is a curious phenomenon in the history of mankind.

"The burden of the world's errors and sins, no doubt, has become heavier from year to year; but why Christian people should have been able to gaze upon the increasing burden with comparative calmness, and even cheerfulness, for many generations, and in the fading years of a worn-out century should have with strange abruptness set themselves to the gigantic task of removing it from the earth, is a question not easy of solution."

It is indeed a remarkable fact that the idea of world-wide missions should first have dawned upon the mind of Christian people at the close of the eighteenth century; but it is a fact readily understood in the light of other developments. In the providence of God the time had come for the advent hope to be

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revived, and for the gospel message to be preached in all the world for a witness to the nations prior to the glorious second advent of Christ. Thus it was another instance where the times were "before appointed," and the contemplation of the movement in its entirety should furnish reason for renewed faith in God and His all-governing providence.

To be sure, the missions movement had its isolated pioneers and forerunners. Denmark founded a lone mission at Tranquebar on the east coast of India, and the Moravians sent some noble pioneers to the West Indies; but modern missions as a great world movement began with William Carey. He was born in 1761, and was chiefly notable in early days for his hunger for knowledge and an indomitable spirit. A shoemaker's apprentice at seventeen, he was already initiated into the rudiments of Latin, Hebrew, Greek, and French. He had been brought up in

the Church of England, but hearing a sermon on the text, "Let us go forth unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach," he made a personal application of the exhortation, and forthwith joined himself to a company of Baptists, because they were a despised sect. He began presently to do some preaching, and in 1887 he was ordained pastor of the Moulton church, a few miles from Northampton, with a salary of £15 a year, which he eked out by school teaching and shoemaking.

It was reading the voyages of Captain Cook that first led Carey's mind out to a contemplation of the needs of the heathen world. He prepared and hung up in his shoemaker's shop a rough map of the world, setting forth briefly the condition of the great harvest field. He talked about it to every one who would listen to him. He was encouraged by a sermon of Fuller's on "The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptance," and by a pamphlet by Jonathan Edwards, just then reprinted in England, in which God's people were exhorted to unite in "extraordinary prayer for the revival of religion and advancement of Christ's kingdom upon earth."

Presently Carey was called to a charge in Leicester. While there it was that, having been asked by the moderator to suggest a subject for consideration of the association, he propounded the momentous question, "Whether the command given to the apostles to teach all nations was not obligatory on all ministers to the end of the world." The curt reply of Ryland well expressed what was even at that late time the general attitude of professed Christians: "Sit down, young man. You are a miserable enthusiast to ask such a question. When God wants to convert the world, He can do it without your help; and at least nothing can be done until a second Pentecost shall bring a return of the miraculous gifts."

But Carey was irrepressible. The time had come for a world-wide missions movement to be inaugurated, and the chosen instrument was adequate to the task. He sat down for the time being, but it was to "put on paper with remarkable clearness, fulness, and cogency, a tabular statement of the size, population, religious condition, etc., of the various countries of the Old World and the New." He then went on to prove that the Lord's command to preach the gospel in all the world was perpetual; he told what had been done, and urged further efforts. The appeal, the first of its kind, closed with a request for united prayer, and suggested the gift of a penny a week. But it remained unprinted and unread for six years, the author not having the money with which to publish it.


On May 31, 1792, came the first great opportunity to present the subject of missions. The Baptist ministers were again assembled at Nottingham, and Carey was asked to preach. spoke from Isaiah 54: 2, 3, the two main divisions of the text being: "Expect great things from God," and "Attempt great things for God." It was an eloquent address; it came forth from the heart of a man, and it reached hearts. And yet the association was about to break up without taking action, when Carey seized Fuller by the arm and asked, "Are you going to again do nothing?" Then it was decided, "to pacify him and also to gain time," that a meeting should be held five months later to consider the matter further, and Carey was invited to publish his pamphlet. He did so. The ministers met again, and in the course of a few months there was formed in a widow's back parlor in Kettering the "Particular Baptist Society for Propagating the Gospel Among the Heathen." It included twelve members of a despised sect, and they took up a subscription for the evangelization of the world amounting to £12, 2s., 6d.

When the question was raised as to who should be sent, Carey offered himself as a candidate on the sole condition that some one be found to go with him. He had set his mind on the South Sea Islands; but a surgeon by the name of Thomas, in the employ of the East India Company, had recently returned from India, where he had done a little evangelistic work. He was accordingly invited to be Carey's associate, and accepted the call. The field fixed upon was India. After fruitless attempts to obtain the necessary license from the East India Company, passage was at length obtained on a Danish East Indiaman, and Carey and his wife and Thomas set out on their momentous voyage June 13, 1793.

While yet in mid-ocean, the brave, farseeing man wrote these remarkable words:

"I hope the society will go on and increase, and that the multitudes of heathen in the world may hear the glorious words of truth. Africa is but a little way from England, Madagascar is but a little farther. South America and all the numerous and large islands in the Indian and China Seas, I hope will not be passed over."-"A Hundred Years of Missions," by Delavan L. Leonard, p. 83.

Arriving in India, these men who desired only to preach the gospel, escaped arrest and deportation only because, landing from a ship which had cleared from a foreign port, their presence and mission were unknown. They struggled for months. with all manner of difficulties, often lacking the necessaries of life; but Carey never lost heart. When things looked the darkest, he penned these immortal words:

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'Well, I have God, and His word is sure; and though the superstitions of the heathen were a million times worse than they are, if I were deserted by all, persecuted by all, yet my hope, fixed on that word, will rise superior to all obstructions, and triumph over all trials. God's cause will triumph, and I shall come out of all trials as gold purified by fire."- Ibid.

Leaving Carey cheerfully overcoming Herculean obstacles in India, let us return to England to note the further development of the missionary campaign so nobly begun. When, after fourteen months, the first report came to the Baptists from their missionaries in India, it made them so happy that they called in some clergymen and friends of other denominations, and these too rejoiced. Moreover it occurred to them that the Baptists ought not to be the only denomination to put forth practical efforts to extend the kingdom of God upon earth. An agitation was accordingly set on foot to organize a missionary enterprise on a broad scale, independent of denominational lines, and in September the London Missionary Society was brought into being. The news spread quickly to all parts of the country, and offerings came in so rapidly that on the first of November the society had £3,000 in hand, and by the following June this sum had increased to £10,000.

It was decided to begin work at once in Otaheite (Tahiti), the Friendly Islands, and the Marquesas, with the intent later of entering Madagascar and the West Indies. And already the hope was expressed that the effort for the evangelization of the world would "spread to every Christian bosom, to the Dutch, German, American, and all Protestant churches, till the whole professing world" should "burn with fervent love, and labor to spread in every heathen land the sweet savor of the Redeemer's name."

A ship, the "Duff," was purchased and fitted out at a cost of £12,000. On the 28th of July, 1796, the twenty-nine persons who had been chosen to go as missionaries, were solemnly set apart for the work. After some weeks' delay in waiting for convoy, the vessel finally hoisted her anchors on September 23.

Measures were next taken to send four missionaries to the Foulah country, 250 miles from Sierra Leone. After that, Cape Colony was remembered. Meanwhile the promoters did not neg lect to seek divine help. "Christians in every corner of the land are meeting in a regular manner, and pouring out their souls for God's blessing on the world." Moreover, a spirit of unity was coming in.

"The efforts most successfully made to introduce the gospel to the South Seas have had a most powerful tendency to unite the devoted servants of Christ of every denomination in the bonds of brotherly love, and to awaken

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