April 8

On this day in 1801, Missionary Joshua Marshman recorded in this journal – “This morning Carey (Missionary William Carey) came to me in great haste, almost before I was awake. He had received a note from our good friend, Rev. David Brown concerning a matter of great moment, to which an immediate answer must be given. ‘He wishes to propose him as a Professor of Bengali in the new College. Would he give consent?’”

William Carey never attended college, and he never considered himself to be particularly intelligent. He did not picture himself up to the task of teaching others anything but the simple gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, provided that the blessing of the Holy Spirit was with him. He was known by his co-workers as a thoroughly modest, meek and unassuming man. He wanted to decline the appointment, but wouldn’t do so without the direction of the Lord, and thus he appealed to his friends for their prayers.

Despite his humility, Carey’s accomplishments were astounding. He spoke at least 17 languages, preaching in the vernacular, and speaking to an innumerable variety of lost souls about Christ. He helped to establish 20 churches. And in his spare time he produced grammars and lexicons in six different important languages. He superintended the translation of the Bible into 42 oriental tongues and made the Word of God available to more than a third of the world’s population.

Toward the end of his life he confessed to a preacher friend that he never learned how to say one particular word. “I never could say ‘No.’ I began t preach in Moulton, because I could not say ‘No.’ I went Leicester, because I could not say ‘No.’ I became a missionary, because I could not say ‘No.’” And he didn’t say “No” to the professorship. After years of labor in the school, some of those young men – many of them Christians – became judges and leading public officials.