Reformed Baptist Fellowship

William Carey’s 11 Commandments of Missions

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on April 29, 2011 at 7:05 am

Here are excerpts from the “Form of Agreement” drafted by Carey and his colleagues in October 1805.

The Redeemer, in planting us in this heathen nation, rather than in any other, has imposed upon us the cultivation of peculiar qualifications. Upon these points we think it right to fix our serious and abiding attention.

First. In order to be prepared for our great and solemn work, it is absolutely necessary that we set an infinite value upon immortal souls; that we often endeavour to affect our minds with the dreadful loss sustained by an unconverted soul launched into eternity.

Secondly. It is very important that we should gain all the information we can of the snares and delusions in which these heathens are held. By this means we shall be able to converse with them in an intelligible manner.

Thirdly. It is necessary, in our intercourse with the Hindoos, that, as far as we are able, we abstain from those things which would increase their prejudices against the Gospel. Those parts of English manners which are most offensive to them should be kept out of sight as much as possible. [For example,] we should avoid every degree of cruelty to animals.

Fourthly. It becomes us to watch all opportunities of doing good. We are apt to relax in these active exertions, especially in a warm climate; but we shall do well always to fix it in our minds, that life is short, that all around us are perishing, and that we incur a dreadful woe if we proclaim not the glad tidings of salvation.

Fifthly. In preaching to the heathen, we must keep to the example of Paul, and make the great subject of our preaching, Christ the Crucified. It is a well-know fact that the most successful missionaries in the world at the present day make the atonement of Christ their theme.

Sixthly. It is absolutely necessary that the natives should have an entire confidence in us, and feel quite at home in our company. To gain this confidence we must on all occasions be willing to hear their complaints; we must give them kindest advice.

Seventhly. Another important part of our work is to build up, and watch over, the souls that may be gathered. A real missionary becomes in a sense a father to his people.

Eighthly. It is only by means of native preachers that we can hope for the universal spread of the Gospel throughout this immense continent. We think it our duty, as soon as possible, to advise the native brethren who may be formed into separate churches, to choose their pastors and deacons from their own countrymen.

Ninthly. It becomes us also to labor with all our might in forwarding translations of the sacred Scriptures in the languages of Hindoostan. The establishment of native free schools is also an object highly important to the future conquests of the Gospel.

Tenthly. That which, as a means is to fit us for the discharge of these laborious and unutterably important labours, is the being instant in prayer, and the cultivation of personal religion. Let each one of us lay it upon his heart that we will seek to be fervent in spirit, wrestling with God, till He famish these idols and cause the heathen to experience the blessedness that is in Christ.

Finally. Let us give ourselves up unreservedly to this glorious cause. Let us never think that our time, our gifts, our strength, our families, or even the clothes we wear, are our own. To keep these ideas alive in our minds, we resolve that this Agreement shall be read publicly, at every station, at our three annual meetings, viz., on the first Lord’s day in January, in May, and October.

Listed in Christian History, Issue 36, page 34.

  1. Here is the full and original text of the Serampore Covenant with my intro and comments:

    What this Particular Baptist missionary has learned from The Serampore Compact of 1805

    No other concise document shows the heart of Carey and his missionary band like the Serampore Compact of 1805.

    This masterpiece of missiology outlines general governing principles and methodologies which governed the missionary band at Serampore

    The full text of this historic document follows. I have left it unchanged, only bolding the headings for ease of reading. I do not want to comment needlessly on a document that would be difficult to improve upon. However, I do want to stress the main emphases of Carey, Marshman, and Ward. Therefore, so that their missiological principles are not lost, and so that we might benefit from their wisdom and model their actions in our own missionary endeavors, I have summarized their main themes at the end of this document.

    My hope is that readers will see in the Serampore Compact an outline of solid missiological principles and that we would strive to be imitators of them, both in their principles and also in their zeal.

    The Serampore Compact of 1805

    OUR AGREEMENT

    Form of Agreement respecting the great principles upon which the Brethren of the Mission at Serampore think it is their duty to act in the work of instructing the heathen, agreed Upon at a meeting of the Brethren at Serampore, on Monday, October 7, 1805.

    The Redeemer, in planting us in the heathen nation, rather than in any other, has imposed upon us the cultivation of peculiar qualifications. We are firmly persuaded that Paul might plant and Apollos water, in vain, in any part of the world, did not God give the increase. We are sure that only those ordained to eternal life will believe, and that God alone can add to the church such as shall be saved. Nevertheless we cannot but observe with admiration that Paul, the great champion for the glorious doctrine of free and sovereign grace, was the most conspicuous for his personal zeal in the word of persuading men to be reconciled to God. In this respect he is a noble example for our imitation. Our Lord intimated to those of His apostles who were fishermen, that he would make them fishers of men, intimating that in all weathers, and amidst every disappointment they were to aim at drawing men to the shores of eternal life. Solomon says: “He that winneth souls is wise,” implying, no doubt, that the work of gaining over men to the side of God, was to be done by winning methods, and that it required the greatest wisdom to do it with success.

    Upon these points, we think it right to fix our serious and abiding attention.

    First: -In order to be prepared for our great and solemn work, it is absolutely necessary that we set an infinite value on immortal souls; that we often endeavour to affect our minds with the dreadful loss sustained by an unconverted soul launched into eternity. It becomes us to fix in our minds the awful doctrine of eternal punishment, and to realize frequently the unconceivably awful conditions of this vast country, lying in the arms of the wicked one. If we have not this awful sense of the value of souls, it is impossible that we can feel aright in any other part of our work, and in this case it had been better for us to have been in any other situation than in that of a Missionary. Oh! may our hearts bleed over these poor idolaters, and may their case lie with continued weight on our minds, that we may resemble that eminent Missionary, who compared the travail of his soul, on account of the spiritual state of those committed to his charge, to the pains of childbirth. But while we thus mourn over their miserable condition, we should not be discouraged, as though their recovery were impossible. He who raised the Scottish and brutalized Britons to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; can raise these slaves of superstition, purify their hearts by faith, and make them worshippers of the one God in spirit and in truth. The promises are fully sufficient to remove our doubts, and to make us anticipate that not very distant period when he will famish all the gods of India, and cause these very idolaters to cast their idols to the moles and to the bats, and renounce forever the work of their own hands.

    Second. -It is very important that we should gain all the information we can of the snares and delusions in which these heathen are held. By this means we shall be able to converse with them in an intelligible manner. To know their modes of thinking, their habits, their propensities, their antipathies, the way in which they reason about God, sin, holiness, the way of salvation, and a future state, to be aware of the bewitching nature of their idolatrous worship, feasts, songs, etc., is of the highest consequence, if we would gain their attention to our discourse, and would avoid to be barbarians to them. This knowledge may be easily obtained by conversing with sensible natives, by reading some parts of their works and by attentively observing their manners and customs.

    Thirdly.-It is necessary, in our intercourse with the Hindoos, that as far as we are able, we abstain from those things which would increase their prejudices against the Gospel. Those parts of English manner which are most offensive to them should be kept out of sight as much as possible. We would also avoid every degree of cruelty to animals. Nor is it advisable at once to attack their prejudices by exhibiting with acrimony the sins of their gods; neither should we upon any account do violence to their images, nor interrupt their worship. The real conquests of the Gospel are those of love: “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” In this respect, let us be continually fearful else one unguarded word, or one unnecessary display of the difference betwixt us, in manners, etc., should set the natives at a greater distance from us. Paul’s readiness to become all things to all men, that he might by any means save some, and his disposition to abstain even from necessary comforts that he might not offend the weak, are circumstances worthy of our particular notice. This line of conduct we may be sure was founded on the wisest principles. Placed amidst a people very much like the hearers of the Apostle, in many respects, we may not receive the solid wisdom which guided him as a missionary. The mild manners of the Moravians and also of the Quakers towards the North American Indians have, in many instances, gained the affections and confidence of heathens in a wonderful manner. He who is too proud to stoop to others in order to draw them to him, though he may know that they are in many respects inferior to himself, is ill-qualified to become a Missionary. The words of a most successful preacher still living, “that he would not care if the people trampled him under their feet, if he might become useful to their souls,” are expressive of the very temper we should always cultivate.

    Fourthly. -It becomes us to watch all opportunities of doing good. A missionary would be highly culpable if he contented himself with preaching two or three times a week to those persons whom he might be able to get together into a place of worship. To carry on conversations with the natives almost every hour in the day, to go from village to village, from market to market, from one assembly to another, to talk to servants, labourers, etc., as often as opportunity offers, and to be instant in season and out of season – this is the life to which we are called in this country. We are apt to relax in these active exertions, especially in a warm climate; but we shall do well to always fix in our minds, that life is short, that all around us are perishing, and that we incur a dreadful woe if we proclaim not the glad tiding of salvation.

    Fifthly. -In preaching to the heathen, we must keep to the example of St. Paul, and make the greatest subject of our preaching, Christ Crucified. It would be very easy for a missionary to preach nothing but truths, and that for many years together, without any well-grounded hope of becoming useful to one soul. The doctrine of Christ’s expiatory death and all-sufficient merits had been, and must ever remain, the great means of conversion. This doctrine, and others immediately connected with it, have constantly nourished and sanctified the church. Oh, that these glorious truths ever be the joy and strength of our own souls, and then we will not fail to become the matter of our conversation to others. It was the proclaiming of these doctrines that made the Reformation from Popery in the time of Luther spread with such rapidity. It was these truths that filled the sermons of the modern Apostles, Whitefield, Wesley, etc., when the Light of the Gospel which has been held up with such glorious effects by the Puritans was almost extinguished in England. It is a well-known fact that the most successful missionaries in the world at the present day make the atonement of Christ their continued theme. We mean the Moravians. They attribute all their success to the preaching of the death of our Saviour. So far as our experience goes in this work, we must freely acknowledge, that every Hindoo among us who has been gained to Christ, has been won by the astonishing and all-constraining love exhibited in our Redeemer’s propitiatory death. O then may we resolve to know nothing among Hindoos and Mussulmans but Christ and Him crucified.

    Sixthly. -It is absolutely necessary that the natives should have an entire confidence in us, and feel quite at home in our company. To gain this confidence we must on all occasions be willing to hear their complaints; we must give them the kindest advice, and we must decide upon everything brought before us in the most open, upright and impartial manner. We ought to be easy of access, to condescend to them as much as possible, and on all occasions to treat them as our equals. All passionate behaviour will sink our characters exceedingly in their estimation. All force, and everything haughty, reserved and forbidding it becomes us ever to shun with the greatest care. We can never make sacrifices too great, when the eternal salvation of souls is the object except, indeed, we sacrifice the commands of Christ.

    Seventhly. -Another important part of our work is to build up, and watch over, the souls that may be gathered. In this work we shall do well to simplify our first instructions as much as possible, and to press the great principles of the Gospel upon the minds of the converts till they be thoroughly settled and grounded in the foundation of their hope towards God. We must be willing to spend some time with them daily, if possible, in this work. We must have much patience with them, though they may grow very slowly in divine knowledge.

    We ought also to endeavour as much as possible to form them to habits of industry, and assist them in procuring such employments as may be pursued with the least danger of temptations to evil. Here too we shall have occasion to exercise much tenderness and forbearance, knowing that industrious habits are formed with difficulty by all heathen nations. We ought also to remember that these persons have made no common sacrifices in renouncing their connections, their homes, their former situations and means of support, and that it will be very difficult for them to procure employment with heathen masters. In these circumstances, if we do not sympathize with them in their temporal losses for Christ, we shall be guilty of great cruelty.

    As we consider it our duty to honour the civil magistrate, and in every state and country to render him the readiest obedience, whether we be persecuted or protected, it becomes us to instruct our native brethren the same principles. A sense of gratitude too presses this obligation upon us in a peculiar manner in return for the liberal protection we have experienced. It is equally our wisdom and our duty also to show to the civil power, that it has nothing to fear from the progress of Missions, since a real follower of Christ must resist the example of his Great Master, and all the precepts the Bible contains on this subject, before he can become disloyal. Converted heathens, being brought over to the religion of their Christian Governors, if duly instructed, are much more likely to love them, and be united to them, than subjects of a different religion.

    To bear the faults of our native brethren, so as to reprove them with tenderness, and set them right in the necessity of a holy conversion, is a very necessary duty. We should remember the gross darkness in which they were so lately involved, having never had any just and adequate ideas of the evil of sin, or its consequences. We should also recollect how backward human nature is in forming spiritual ideas, and entering upon a holy self-denying conversation. We ought not, therefore even after many falls, to give up and cast away a relapsed convert while he manifests the least inclination to be washed from his filthiness.

    In walking before native converts, much care and circumspection are absolutely necessary. The falls of Christians in Europe have not such a fatal tendency as they must have in this country, because there the word of God always commands more attention than the conduct of the most exalted Christian. But here those around us, in consequence of the little knowledge of the Scriptures, must necessarily take our conduct as a specimen of what Christ looks for in his disciples. They know only the Saviour and his doctrine as they shine forth in us.

    In conversing with the wives of the native converts, and leading them into the ways of Christ, so that they may be an ornament to the Christian cause, and make known the Gospel to the native women, we hope always to have the assistance of the females who have embarked with us in the mission. We see that in primitive times the Apostles were very much assisted in their great work by several pious females. The great value of female help may easily be appreciated if we consider how much the Asiatic women are shut up from the men, and especially from men of another caste. It behoves (sic) us, therefore, to afford to our European sisters all possible assistance in acquiring the language, that they may, in every way which Providence may open to them, become instrumental in promoting the salvation of the millions of native women who are in a great measure excluded from all opportunities of hearing the word from the mouths of European missionaries. A European sister may do much for the cause in this respect, by promoting the holiness, and stirring up the zeal, of the female converts. A real missionary becomes in a sense a father to his people. If he feels all their welfare and company that a father does in the midst of his children, they will feel all that freedom with, and confidence in him which he can desire. He will be wholly unable to lead them on in a regular and happy manner, unless they can be induced to open their minds to him, and unless a sincere and mutual esteem subsist on both sides.

    Eigthly. -Another part of our work is the forming of our native brethren to usefulness, fostering every kind of genius, and cherishing every gift and grace with them. In this respect we can scarcely be too lavish of our attention to their improvement. It is only by means of native preachers that we can hope for the universal spread of the Gospel throughout this immense continent. Europeans are too few, and their subsistence costs too much for us ever to hope that they can possibly be the instruments of the universal diffusion of the word amongst so many millions of souls spread over such a large portion of the habitable globe. Their incapability of bearing the intense heat of the climate in perpetual itineracies, and the heavy expenses of their
    journeys, not to say anything of the prejudices of the natives against the very presence of Europeans, and the great difficulty of becoming fluent in their languages, render it absolute duty to cherish native gifts, and to send forth as many native preachers as possible. If the practice of confining the ministry of the word to a single individual in a church be once established amongst us, we despair of the Gospel’s ever making much progress in India by our means. Let us therefore use every gift, and continually urge on our native brethren to press upon their countrymen the glorious Gospel of the blessed God.

    Still further to strengthen the cause of Christ in this country, and, as far as in our power, to give it a permanent establishment, even when the efforts of Europeans may fail, we think it our duty, as soon as possible, to advise the native brethren who may be formed in separate churches, to choose their pastors and deacons from amongst their own countrymen, that the word may be steadily preached, and the ordinances of Christ administered, in each church by the native minister, as much as possible without interference of the missionary of the district who will constantly superintend theiraffairs, giving them advice in cases of order and discipline, and correct any errors into which they may fall, and who joying and beholding their order, and their steadfastness of their faith in Christ, may direct his efforts continually to the planting of new churches in other places, and to the spread of the Gospel throughout his district as much as in his power. By this means the unity of the missionary character will be preserved, all the missionaries will still form one body, each one moveable as the good of the cause may require, the different native churches will also naturally have to care and provide for their ministers, for their church expense, the raising of places of worship, etc., and the whole administration will assume a native aspect, by which means the inhabitants will more readily identify the cause as belonging to their own nation, and their prejudices at falling into the hands of Europeans will entirely vanish. It may be hoped too that the pastors of these churches, and the members in general, will feel a new energy in attempting to spread the Gospel, when they shall thus freely enjoy the privileges of the Gospel amongst themselves.

    Under the divine blessing, if, in the course of a few years, a number of native churches be thus established, from them the Word of God may sound out even to the extremes of India, and numbers of preachers being raised up and sent forth, may form a body of native missionaries, inured to the climate, acquaint ed with the customs, language, modes of speech and reasoning of the inhabitants; able to become perfectly familiar with them, to enter their houses, to live upon their food, to sleep with them, or under a tree; and who may travel from one end of the country to the other almost without any expense. These churches will be in no immediate danger of falling into errors of disorders, because the whole of their affairs will be constantly superintended, by a European missionary.

    The advantages of this plan are so evident, that to carry it into complete effect ought to be our continued concern. That we may discharge the important obligations of watching over these infant churches when formed, and of urging them to maintain a steady discipline, to hold forth the clear and cheering light of evangelical truth in this region and shadow of death, and to walk in all respects as those who have been called out of the darkness into marvellous light, we should continually go to the Source of all grace and strength for it. If to become the shepherd of one church be a most solemn and weight charge, what must it be to watch over a number of churches just raised from the state of heathenism, and placed at a distance from each other?

    We have thought it our duty not to change the names of native converts, observing from Scripture that the Apostles did not change those of the first Christians turned from heathenism, as the names Epaphroditus, Phoebe, Fortunatus, Sylvanus, Apollos, Hermes, Junia, Narcissus, etc., prove. Almost all these names were derived from those of heathen gods. We think the great object which Divine Providence has in view in causing the Gospel to be promulgated in the world, is not the changing of the names, the dress, the food, and the innocent usages of mankind, but to produce a moral and divine change in the hearts and conduct of men. It would not be right to perpetuate the names of heathen gods amongst Christians, neither is it necessary or prudent to give a new name to every man after his conversion, as hereby the economy of families, neighbourhoods, etc., would be needlessly disturbed. In other respects, we think it our duty to lead our brethren by example, by mild persuasion, and by opening and illuminating their minds in a gradual way rather than use authoritative means. By this they learn to see the evil of a custom, and then to despise and forsake it; whereas in cases where force is used, though they may leave off that which is wrong while in our presence, at not having seen the evil of it, they are in danger of using hypocrisy, and of doing that out of our presence which they dare not do in it.

    Ninthly. -It becomes us also to labour with all our might in forwarding translations of the sacred Scriptures in the languages of Hindoostan. The help which God has afforded us already in this work is a loud call to us to “go forward.” So far, therefore, as God has qualified us to learn those languages which are necessary, we consider it our bounden duty to apply ourselves with unwearied assiduity in acquiring them. We consider the publication of the Divine Word throughout India as an object which we ought never to give up till accomplished, looking to the Fountain of all knowledge and strength to qualify us for this great work, and to carry us through it to the praise of His Holy name. It becomes us to use all assiduity in explaining and distributing the Divine Word on all occasions, and by every means in our power to excite the attention and the reverence of the natives towards it, as the fountain of eternal truth and the Message of Salvation to men. It is our duty also to distribute, as extensively as possible, the different religious tracts which are published. Considering how much the diffusion of the knowledge of Christ depends upon a liberal and constant distribution of the Word, and of these tracts, all over the country, we should keep this continually in mind, and watch all opportunities of putting even single tracts into the hands of those persons with whom we occasionally meet. We should endeavour to ascertain where large assemblies of the natives are to be found, that we may attend upon them, and gladden whole villages at once with the tidings of salvation.
    The establishment of native free schools is also an object highly important to the future conquests of the Gospel. Of this very pleasing and interesting part of our missionary labours, we should endeavour not to be unmindful. As opportunities are afforded, it becomes us to establish, visit, and encourage these institutions, and to recommend the establishment of them to other Europeans. The progress of divine light is gradual, both as it respects individuals and nations. Whatever therefore tends to increase the body of holy light in these dark regions is “as bread cast upon the waters to be seen after many days.” In many ways the progress of individual events is preparing Hindoos for casting their idols to the moles and bats, and for becoming a part of the chosen generations, the royal priesthood, the holy nation.

    Some parts of missionary labours very properly tend to present conversion of the heathen, and others to the ushering in the glorious period when “a nation shall be born in a day.” Of the latter kind are native free schools.

    Tenthly. -That which, as a means, is to fit us for the discharge of these laborious and unutterable important labours, is the being instant in prayer, and the cultivation of personal religion. Let us ever have in remembrance the examples of those who have been most eminent in the work of God. Let us often look at Brainerd, in the woods of America, pouring out his very soul before God for the perishing heathen, without whose salvation nothing could make him happy. Prayer secret, fervent, believing prayer, lies at the foot of all personal godliness. A competent knowledge of the languages current where a missionary lives, a mild and winning temper, and a heart giving up on closet religion, these are the attainments which, more than all knowledge, or all other gifts, will fit us to become the instruments of God in the great work of Human Redemption. Let us then ever be united in prayer at stated seasons whatever distance may separate us, and let each one of us lay it upon his heart that we will seek to be fervent in spirit, wrestling with God, till He famish these idols and cause the heathen to experience the blessedness that is in Christ.

    Finally. -let us give ourselves up unreservedly to this glorious cause. Let us never think that our time, our gifts, our strength, our families, or even the clothes we wear, are our own. Let us sanctify ourselves for His work! Let us ever shut out the idea of laying up a dowry for ourselves or our children. If we give up the resolution which was formed on the subject of private trade, when we first united at Serampore, the Mission from that hour is a lost cause. A worldly spirit, quarrels and every evil work will succeed the moment it is admitted that each brother may do something on his own account. Woe to that man who shall ever make the smallest movement toward such a measure. Let us continually watch against a worldly spirit, and cultivate a Christian indifference towards every indulgence. Rather let us bear hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, and endeavour to learn in every state to be content.

    If in this way we are enabled to glorify God, with our bodies and spirit which are His, – our wants will be His care. No private family ever enjoyed a greater portion of happiness, even in the most prosperous gale of worldly prosperity than we have done since we resolved to have all things in common, and that no one should pursue his business for his own exclusive advantage. If we are enabled to persevere in the same principles, we may hope that multitudes of converted souls will have reason to bless God to all eternity for sending His Gospel into this country.

    To keep these ideas alive in our minds, we resolve that this Agreement shall be read publicly, at every station, at our three annual meetings, vis., on the first Lord’s day in January, in May, and in October.

    Main emphases of the Serampore Compact of 1805, and comments regarding the text:

    Below, I concisely summarize the main themes of the Serampore Compact in order of appearance.

    Introduction: God’s sovereignty does not negate vigorous human action:
    In the introduction, the Serampore Compact affirms its firm belief in the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation. God gives the increase. All those ordained to eternal life will believe. And yet, we see that we are to have a vigorous doctrine of secondary causes. The same God who has ordained the ends, has also ordained the means. Our zeal and actions are included in the predestinating purposes of God, and we are to march forward in the good works which God has foreordained us to do (Ephesians 2:10). We are not to make an idol out of the means; but neither are we to be idle in the use of means. We are to strive to be soul-winners, praying that God will be pleased to grant Gospel success to our efforts.

    First: The infinite value of the human soul and the urgency of the task:
    What is the value of a single, never-dying human soul? And how awful is the loss of even one? Under the first heading, the Serampore Compact drives home the urgency of the task and the infinite value of the human soul. We must remember what is at stake in our endeavors. May our hearts bleed for poor idolaters!

    Second: The importance of knowing the people to whom we are ministering, and of studying local customs:
    Our task is to take the universal and unchanging Word of the God and apply it to variable and changing human cultures. To do this we must not only have a deep knowledge of the Word of God, but we must also study the people that we are trying to bless. To speak the Gospel clearly, therefore, we must know the worldview, the modes of thinking, the propensities, antipathies, and tendencies of the people to whom we are ministering. We want to be able to gain a hearing for our God and to represent Him ably as the God of the whole world, who is concerned about all peoples, not merely a foreign import or local deity brought by those speaking a strange tongue.
    Because of this, missionaries must strive to learn the indigenous language, and even to be able to adopt local postures, forms, customs foods, dress and all things that do not compromise the Gospel.

    Thirdly: We must adorn the Gospel with our humble servant actions:
    We must be sensitive to the native conscience and strive to adorn our testimony with goodness, avoiding all things that needlessly offend and striving to serve and bless others. If anyone be offended, let it be for the sake of the Cross alone, and not due to the cultural blindness or the social clumsiness of Christ’s Emissaries. Carey urges his readers even to do away with their English mannerisms which offend and to avoid cruelty to animals. Our conduct must be such that we are willing to bow and serve and be abased rather than offend anyone who needs the Gospel. We are not to dominate and oppress, but to serve and stoop.

    Fourthly: We are to vigorously socialize, and be ever diligent to bless:

    We are to work while it is day, for the night comes when no man can work. We are to redeem the time because the days are evil. We are to grab up every opportunity to interact with people and strive to always be engaged in holy conversation and constant personal interaction, living purposely with a conscious and deliberate design to bless. This is to be our daily mode of activity. We cannot be fishers of men if we are not immersed in their crowds.

    Fifthly: We are to preach Christ, and Him crucified:
    We are to keep the main thing the main thing. The Gospel is the power of God for salvation to all who believe. We are not to be content with things of secondary importance but are to be always engaged in that great center of our faith, the Lord Jesus Christ and His work.

    Sixthly: We are to treat the locals fairly, kindly, and as equals:
    We are to go out of our way to be kind and fair to all. We are to hear complaints, practice forbearance to all, and treat all men as our equals. We are to be patient, accessible, humble and free from needless anger. The world may colonize and lord it over others; but we are to be servants.

    Seventhly: The importance of discipleship that is patient, personal, deep and continual:
    The Great Commission is not merely about initial evangelism. It involves so much more. It must include the teaching of “all things.” There must be deep, personal and continual discipleship with the goal of having believers stand on their own two feet. This discipleship involves encouraging industry, hard work and self-sufficiency among the converts, all the more important in persecutory environments. This discipleship also, as much as possible, demands that new converts become good citizens and neighbors and that they respect and pray for civil magistrates.
    Also note that Carey encourages the utilization of women in the missionary task. He praises their work and does not display any effort to minimize their roles. Women played vital roles in the New Testament, women meet a vital need on the field, and women may be the key to reaching untold numbers of those whom Western men cannot reach. While ecclesiastical authority is to be male, women, too, are important contributors to the spread of the Gospel and we should be mindful to develop them for service.

    Eighthly: The importance of cultivating indigenous leadership:
    We desire to pass the baton and cultivate local leadership. We long to see a church of indigenous believers, led by indigenous leaders, worshipping deeply and even seeking to reach others with the Gospel. Western workers are too few, and the work is too vast; we must not bypass those whom God is raising up. We must, instead, invest ourselves deeply into developing indigenous leaders who can then spread the Gospel among their kinsmen. It is only by means of native preachers that we can hope for the universal spread of the Gospel.
    As we train locals, we need not try to change every facet of their culture. Transmitting the Gospel and effecting moral change is our main concern, not the changing of the names, the dress or the food of the people.

    Ninthly: The absolute necessity of translating the Scriptures into the vernacular:

    Translating the Word of God into the heart-language of a people is vital. The Bible in a people’s vernacular works miracles and all efforts should be made to translate and spread the Word of God as wide as possible. If education impedes the reading of the Scriptures, then education, too, is a worthy effort by which God may bring spiritual understanding to a people.

    Tenthly: The importance of prayer and personal devotion:
    For the success of the Message, we must take heed to the messengers, and cultivate personal devotion. Closeness with God, intimate prayer, a good-tempered disposition, and even discipline regarding one’s knowledge of the local language are all essential attributes of those who would labor for the Sake of the Name.

    Finally: We must be totally committed, and we must know our total dependency on God:
    Let us be wholly consecrated to the task and give our all for it. Let us sanctify ourselves for the task, stay away from a worldly spirit, bear hardness as good soldiers of Christ and be content in whatsoever state we find ourselves, clinging to the hope that, “multitudes of converted souls will have reason to bless God to all eternity for sending His Gospel into this country”.

  2. Trevor,

    Thanks for posting the entire document.

    Your brother in Christ,
    Steve Clevenger

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