June 12, 2011

A Sample of William Carey's (1761–1834) Gospel Message

{Carey and Bro. Brunsdon went to the villages about 3 or 4 miles from town and encountered an old Brahman. Carey had asked if anyone knew how sins could be pardoned. The people referred him to an old Brahman who was wise. He replied that "profound meditation and acts of Holiness would answer the purpose." Carey shared the Gospel. Here is a sample of the great missionary in action.}

You and I, and all of us are Sinners, and we are in a helpless state but I have good things to tell you. God in the riches of his Mercy became incarnate, in the form of Man. He lived more than thirty years on earth without Sin and was employed in doing good. He gave sight to the Blind, healed the Sick, the lame, the Deaf and the Dumb - and after all died in the stead of Sinners. We deserved the wrath of God, but he endured it. We could make no sufficient atonement for our guilt but he compleatly [sic] made an end of Sin and now he has sent us to tell you that the Work is done and to call you to faith in, and dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, leave your vain customs, and false gods, and lay hold of eternal Life through him. After much discourse of this sort we presented him with a copy of Matthew's Gospel and three more to three other persons. He promised to read and make himself well acquainted with its Contents and then to converse more about it. It was now dark. I, therefore, prayed with them and we returned home.
The Journal and Selected Letters of William Carey, ed. Terry G. Carter (Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys, 2000), 149.

Update on 11-10-14:

Carey also says the following:
They [the lost Hindus] are going I suppose to their Abominations at the moment, but I hope to preach to them again in the evening. I spoke of the Love of God in bearing with his Enemies, in supporting and providing for them, in sending his Son to die for them, in sending the Gospel to them, and in saving many of them from eternal Wrath.
Ibid., 85.
My great concern now is to be found in Christ. His atoning sacrifice is all my hope; and I know that Sacrifice to be of such value that God has accepted it as fully vindicating his government in the exercise of mercy to sinners, and as that on account of which he will accept the greatest offender who seeks to him for pardon. And the acceptance of that sacrifice of atonement was testified by the resurrection of our Lord from the dead and by the commission to preach the Gospel to all nations with a promise, or rather a declaration, that whosoever believeth on the Son shall be saved, shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.
Ibid., 251–252.

4 comments:

christopher said...

i love the way Carey preaches the cross here, but this "gospel" message leaves Christ dead in the grave!

YnottonY said...

I disagree, Christopher. Yes, Carey could have been, and perhaps should have been, more explicit about Christ's resurrection, but it is implied in these words:

"...he has sent us to tell you that the Work is done and to call you to faith in, and dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ."

Dead people don't send others, nor can they be depended upon in the 1800's AD if they were still dead since the 30's AD. The resurrection is there, but implicitly. Also, the quote is probably just a general overview of what was said, not every word.

There are three ways to view the quote:

1) The resurrection is not mentioned at all.

2) The resurrection is implicitly mentioned.

3) The resurrection is explicitly mentioned.

Neither #1 (as you've said) nor #3 are the case, but I think #2 is.

christopher said...

To paraphrase one modern theologian:

The first generation explicitly mentions the resurrection, the second generation implies the resurrection, and the third generation loses the resurrection.

i don't think i am being nitpicky at all. The resurrection is of first importance. Take note that it is being neglected today by many so-called gospel-centered preachers and movements.

Tony Byrne said...

Hi Christopher,

I agree that the resurrection is of first importance (or an essential of the gospel), and that Carey should have been explicit about it, which is why I said "Carey could have been, and perhaps should have been, more explicit about Christ's resurrection..."

What I was objecting to was your initial claim that Carey's "gospel message leaves Christ dead in the grave!" That was false, as it is the same as taking the first position I mentioned above: 1) The resurrection is not mentioned at all.

Now it seems as though you are opting for the second position (my position) as well, i.e. The resurrection is implicitly mentioned, but now making the point that Carey definitely should have been more explicit about it, which I grant, as it is a vital and central gospel doctrine according to the NT. To make that point is not being "nitpicky at all," I agree, but it is a different claim than your initial statement that "this "gospel" message leaves Christ dead in the grave!" Instead of saying that, you could have said that Carey should have made the resurrection explicit since it is so important. That would have been true and a valid criticism.

I repeat: The resurrection is there, but implicitly. Also, the quote is probably just a general overview of what was said, not every word.

Grace to you,
Tony