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William Carey - Essay Example

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William Carey, born in Paulerspurg, England, in 1761 and apprenticed as a shoemaker, died in Serampore, India, in 1834, a renown Baptist missionary and, indeed, the "father of modern missions." His life and his legacy beg the questions of how and why one born into the Anglican faith and whose career training was very far from the Church could grow to become one of the most influential Baptist ministers in history…
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Download file to see previous pages Indeed, as this essay hopes to establish, while William Carey's success emanated from his linguistic talents and his faith, it was, more significantly, the outcome of his rebellion against the Anglican faith and prevalent missionary model.
The son of weavers, Carey's family could hardly afford to provide him with an education which extended beyond literacy and a rudimentary knowledge of history, geography, mathematics and science (George, 1991). His education certainly did not extend to either the classics or languages and, as a matter of fact, it was discontinued when, at the age of 14, he was apprenticed to a shoemaker. Nevertheless, his natural intellectual curiosity, compounded with his gift for languages, incited him to self-educate himself in both, successfully teaching himself Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Dutch, Italian and French (George, 1991).
It was during his period of self-education and learning that Carey became increasingly discontented and disappointed with the Anglican Church. It was at this point, as George (1991) explains, that Carey increasingly found himself turning towards dissent against the Church of England and, eventually, the combined influence of his readings and an acquaintance, John Warr, motivated him to leave the church and join the Dissenters.
His leaving of the Church of England and embrace of Dissent constitutes an important turning-point in Carey's life. As Parker (1914) explains, he did not leave the Church of England and the Anglicanism because he lacked faith but because his faith was not satisfied by that which the Church offered. Carey believed that the Anglican Church had, to a degree, lost its spiritual direction, had become too immersed in the material world and, as a direct result, was not fulfilling its duties towards God. That duty was the spreading of Christ's message to all parts of the world. It was with this in mind that not only did Carey become a Dissenter but joined with other Dissenters in the formation of a small Congregational Church (Parker, 1914). Although not even 18 at that time Carey had found his vocation and his life's work.
From the Congregational Church, Carey joined the recently formed Particular Baptists and was baptized into the faith by Ryland, effectively declaring himself a committed Baptist (Mangalwadi, Magalwadi and Winter, 1999). In the Baptist faith, Carey found the spirituality which he had been searching for and which he had felt was lacking in the Church of England. This, however, did not mean that his period of rebellion had ended. It would not be an exaggeration to argue that it was during this period that his rebellion attained full expression and led him down a missionary's path.
The spark which ignited Carey's most profound rebellion, a rebellion which was to inform and shape his life's work, was a Calvinist pamphlet which effectively stated that all men were not expected to, or responsible for, believing in the Gospels (Mangalwadi, Magalwadi and Winter, 1999). Carey wrote his disputation in The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation and, in a Church meeting, preached the responsibility of all Christians to spread the Gospels. Indeed, when ordered by J.R. Ryland not to presume his responsibility to preach God's word since "when God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid or mine," Carey ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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