Expect Great Things From God, Attempt Great Things For God –William Carey
In commemoration of William Carey
Government of India released this stamp in 1993
He said it and stood firm on it and attempted great things for God and God honored him.
Born on 17 August 1761 in a village called Paulerspury in Northamptonhire in England, and departed from this world on 9 June 1834.
As a nation we remember “The father of modern missions” on his birthday on this day on 17th August. 251 years passed by, but the legacy that he left behind is still astonishing and it encourages and inspires millions of Indians to lead a purposeful life. He was born in a very poor family of a cobbler who struggles to meet both ends. He attempted great things for God and God counted it as great and God honored his selfless service. Today he is remembered by millions of people in India. His achievements are many. Here are few things he could do and achieve in his mission for God. Though he faced many difficulties in putting forward his mission he never looked back or withdrawn. He faced all challenges before him and achieved many things.
· The Enquiry, leading to Foundation of the Baptist Missionary Society.
· Translation of the Bible and portions of the Bible into 40 oriental languages.
· The printing of over 44 vernacular languages and first vernacular newspapers in India.
· Professor of Sanskrit at Fort William College for 30 years.
· First Degree College in India – Serampore 1824.
· Centre for Missionary activity in India and adjacent countries
· He introduced the idea of the “savings bank”
· He campaigned for better facilities for lepers and for the aged
· He introduced the use of the steam engine in India.
· He questioned the practice of Sati system in India and fought for its ban and achieved.
It was Carey’s relentless battle against Sati for 25 years which finally led to the famous Edict in 1829 banning widow burning. The Hindu practice of polygamy compounded the problem even more. On one occasion Carey documented 33 wives of one man burned alive at his funeral. This practice made children orphaned without both father and mother.
• In addition to abolishing Sati system, Carey also protested against other cultural institutions that oppressed women like polygamy, female infanticide, child marriage, euthanasia and forced female illiteracy.• The cobbler turned Baptist missionary was also the first man who led the campaign for a humane treatment for leprosy and ended the practice of burning them alive.
• The versatile English minister also built a system of elementary schools with over a hundred such separate schools for girls.
• Perhaps his most personal achievement was the foundation of the Horticultural and Agricultural Society of India, in September 1820, with The Governor-General as Patron, and Lady Hastings as Sponsor, The missions collected specimens from all their countries and Carey kept them in the garden of Serampore College. His family suffered: Dorothy Died in 1807 – still insane and his son Felix Died early in 1821 aged 36. His second wife Charlotte Rhumohr, died in 1820. These things were entirely common in the India of the time. William Carey himself survived all these vicissitudes till his own death of old age June 8th 1834 aged 73. His own summary of his legacy was -‘Give me credit for being a plodder, anything beyond this will be too much. I can plod. I can persevere in any definite Pursuit. To this I owe everything.’
Carey lived in India for 41 long years. He loved his adopted homeland so much that he did not return to his own country for a long time. During this period, he rendered yeoman services to India. He produced seven grammar books, four dictionaries, thirteen polyglot vocabularies, translations of the bible in forty Indian languages, 132 books of learning on various subjects such as botany, social-customs and literature. He was fascinated by the power and beauty of Indian classics and felt inspired to translate the Ramayana, the Sankhya (a system of philosophy first propounded by Sage Kapila) and the Itihaasamaala for the benefit of English readers. Carey undertook the publication of periodicals such as the monthly Bengali magazine, “Dig-Darshan,” an English monthly called “Friends of India” and “Samachar Darshan” on a regular basis. He founded the “Agricultural and Horticultural Society of India” and completed a survey of agriculture in India.
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