Friday, July 16, 2010

"Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God." - William Carey

William Carey (1761-1834), known as the "Father and Founder of Modern Missions," was the first missionary to India sent out by the Baptist Missionary Society, which he helped found. I've been intrigued and inspired by what I've read and heard about Carey, and I hope to read more on this great man of faith in the future.

One of his most famous quotes was:
"Expect great things from God.
Attempt great things for God."
The story is told that while Carey lay on his death bed after about 41 years in India, he was visited by Alexander Duff, a young 24 year old Scottish Highlander preparing to set out on his own life’s missionary work in India, who is sometimes referred to as Carey's successor. Duff spoke to him about Carey’s life’s work until...
Carey whispered “Pray!”
Duff prayed and then started to leave the room.
Carey’s feeble voice called him back and then said to him
“Mr. Duff, you have been speaking about Dr. Carey, Dr. Carey, Dr. Carey;
When I am gone, say nothing about Dr. Carey – speak about Dr. Carey’s Savior.”

On the morning of June 9, 1834, William Carey’s earthly life ended. His epitaph (written by himself) simply states:
William Carey
Born, August 17, 1761
Died, June 9, 1834
“A wretched, poor, and helpless worm,
On Thy kind arms I fall.”
Additional Scriptures:
Psalm 22:6(ESV) But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
Isaiah 41:14(ESV)Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel!
I am the one who helps you, declares the LORD; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
John 3:30(ESV)He must increase, but I must decrease.

William Carey, the man known as the "Father and Founder of Modern Missions" believed and held to the truths taught in Scripture commonly called the Doctrines of Grace. He knew that God's plan was and is to save people from every tribe, tongue, and nation, including India, and was compelled by the Holy Spirit to go. He knew that God uses men to preach His Gospel, and he knew that all the Glory goes to God alone when sinners are saved!

A proper understanding of God's absolute Sovereignty in all things including Salvation, as missionaries such as William Carey, Andrew Fuller, David Brainard, Robert Moffat & his son-in-law David Livingstone (just to name a few) had, leads to a greater sense of evangelistic responsibility, fervor, and more mission-minded endeavors in the life of the believer.

A few other historic Christians who believed in the absolute Sovereignty of God in all things include Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, John Owen, John Bunyan, the Reformers, the Puritans, and for us Southern Baptists, James Petigru Boyce, the Founder & First President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

some info on Carey taken from


  1. You got some pretty cool stuff on here, PH. ;-)